Fort Mill Times

Springfield Parkway paving part of S.C. budget plan

Drivers on the southern end of Springfield Parkway should have a smoother ride awaiting them come fall.

S.C. Rep. Raye Felder (R-Dist. 26) gave a legislative update to Fort Mill Town Council at its May 13 meeting. She talked issues popping up in Columbia, but also one much nearer home.

“Springfield Parkway will be paved this summer,” she said. “Hopefully we’ll only have to do it once.”

According to an email she provided from the state Department of Transportation, Boggs Paving will repave Springfield from Tom Hall Street to almost 1,500 feet north of the Steele Creek bridge as part of the 2013 Federal Aid Pavement Improvement and Preservation Program. A stretch of Hwy. 49 between York and Lake Wylie also is included.

Completion of both roads is expected by July 31.

The section of parkway in Fort Mill includes entrances to Fort Mill Elementary and Fort Mill Middle schools. The southernmost end is just beside entrances to Avery Plaza and the Springs recreation complex; The northern end is by the Foxwood neighborhood and The Paddock at Springfield.

“That road has definitely deteriorated to the point where if we don’t resurface it now, we’re going to have to start over,” Felder said.

The federal program allotted more than $93 million for reconstruction and rehabilitation of almost 260 miles of roads in 46 counties. More than $16 million goes to projects in the 5th Congressional District.

The Fort Mill area should see considerable road work in coming months. In January the Department of Transportation held public meetings on a widening of Hwy. 160 from two lanes to three and five from Springfield Parkway to Hwy. 521, and a redesign of the I-77/Gold Hill Road interchange. In December they held a meeting for Hwy. 160 improvements at Gold Hill and Zoar roads.

Apart from road construction, Felder highlighted a few completed or coming accomplishments in Columbia. One is a half million dollars in the House-approved budget for an I-77 Alliance of York, Chester and Fairfield counties to promote economic development.

She’s also drafted legislation to curb texting while driving that she hopes can be introduced soon.

“South Carolina is one of the few states that has not passed any laws,” Felder said.

There’s legislation introduced to get rid of a mandatory start date for public schools, a move to “let the school boards go back to setting their own calendars.” Felder, a first-term legislator who district includes Fort Mill, said the state also is looking at laws relating to the Freedom of Information Act.

The key there is to balance the public’s right to municipal or legislative information with the cost incurred producing it, and the idea of citizens being able to contact decision-makers in private.

“I think the public has a right to that,” Felder said of public information, “but I also think the constituent who sends me that email also has the right to privacy.”