Fort Mill Times

Fort Mill acquiring land for bypass route

Well before pavement hits the ground, work continues in the Fort Mill Southern Bypass path.

At its Aug. 26 meeting, Fort Mill Town Council agreed to spend up to $148,000 for land acquisition to put a water line along the bypass. The move allows staff to make offers on eight parcels ranging from less than a tenth of an acre to more than half an acre.

Initial offers range from a little more than $2,000 to more than $65,000. Paul Mitchell, town engineering director, said land values can be “tremendously different” where the bypass is going even from properties right beside them.

Federal requirements dictate that property owners be offered full appraised value for easements. Staff asked to be allowed up to 15 percent beyond the appraised value of $128,820 without having to come back for Council approval.

Some construction easements are permanent, others temporary. Acquiring the land means that if future changes are made with the water line, “it would be at the county’s or (state transportation department)’s expense,” Mitchell said.

Two of the properties belong to the Fort Mill School District and two more to Fort Mill Reserve, LLC. One each belongs to town attorney Bayles Mack, Quarter Point Ventures, J. Max Hinson and Robert A. Martin.

The town’s move came one week after York County Council approved a utility agreement with Duke Energy for more than $688,000. That sum is what Duke will need to relocate transmission lines and facilities to make way for the bypass. Another tab will come later for work in the Hensley Road area that wasn’t included.

A small phase along Banks Road is complete now, with connections up through the Doby’s Bridge and Holbrook roads area set for completion next spring. Included in that work is a bridge spanning the Norfolk Southern Railroad near Banks. The project’s final phase extends the bypass to Hwy. 160 and should be finished in November of next year.

Duke has the rights to utilities along Williams, Legion and Haire roads, and Hwy. 160, that will need to be relocated. The company estimates it’ll cost more than $408,000 for main transmission lines and $280,000 for distribution lines.

To keep the project on pace, similar efforts in the Hensley Road area weren’t included in the agreement. There, Duke will need an estimated $250,000. Fewer transmission lines are involved, but the work is more time-consuming.

“The area along Hensley Road is the most complicated utility relocation work,” read the staff recommendation to Council, due to it being the most populated in the bypass footprint.

The overall bypass construction budget is $41.8 million.