Some of Sumter's most dangerous intersections have been slated for improvement.
The Sumter Urban Area Transportation Study Policy Committee recently selected five transportation improvement projects and has committed $100,000 to each project for …
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The Sumter Urban Area Transportation Study Policy Committee recently selected five transportation improvement projects and has committed $100,000 to each project for initial feasibility studies that will be completed in 2020 in partnership with the South Carolina Department of Transportation.
Once those studies are complete and specific project details are determined, SUATS will consider allocating full construction funding to each project, according to the group, a federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization that is responsible for executing transportation planning for the urbanized area of Sumter County.
"The goal of these projects is to make each intersection and corridor safe and attractive for all modes of transportation," said George McGregor, planning director for the Sumter City-County Planning Department.
The selected projects are at Broad Street and Loring Mill Road; Guignard Drive and Liberty Street; Broad Street and Robert Dinkins Road; Broad Street and North St. Pauls Church Road; and Lafayette Drive/U.S. 15 from the Robert E. Graham Freeway/U.S. 378 bypass to South Guignard Drive/U.S. 521.
McGregor said improvements may include crosswalk upgrades, lane reconfigurations, signalization adjustments, driveway realignment and sidewalk improvements.
To fund these projects, SUATS will rely on a $2.5 million annual Guideshare allocation it receives from the Federal Highways Administration and SCDOT.
Mayor Joe McElveen said good roads are essential to the city's "continued prosperity" and that the city is fortunate to have these state and federal funds.
Updates on other transportation projects that are already underway throughout Sumter were given:
- Proposed intersection improvements at Pinewood Road and McCrays Mill Road are expected to be advertised for construction bid in late spring of 2020;
- Construction is underway on the Lafayette Diamond project at South Pike Road, North Main Street and Lafayette Drive. Completion is expected in fall of 2020;
- The Shot Pouch Greenway project to connect Dillon Park and Swan Lake via a paved multi-use path is expected to be advertised for construction bid in spring of 2020;
- Intersection improvements for North Washington Street at Calhoun Street, Hampton Avenue and Liberty Street are in the right-of-way acquisition phase;
- Revitalization of the Manning Avenue Corridor is in the right-of-way acquisition phase and is expected to be advertised for construction bid in late spring of 2021;
- Revitalization of the North Main Street Corridor is in the right-of-way acquisition phase and is expected to be advertised for construction bid in late spring of 2021;
- Replacement of the Manning Avenue Bridge is in the early design stages and is expected to be advertised for construction bid in late spring of 2023; and
- Replacement of the U.S. 378 bypass bridges over U.S. 15 and U.S. 76 is in the early design stages and is expected to be advertised for construction bid in late spring of 2022.
Federal regulations require that all urban areas with 50,000 or more population develop and maintain a comprehensive, cooperative and continuing transportation planning process. To accomplish this in Sumter, an agreement was made in 1966 between the City of Sumter, Sumter County and SCDOT that established SUATS. Sumter was the fifth community in South Carolina to be designated as an MPO.
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