WATCH: Lexington Mayor Committed to Relieving Traffic Headaches Through Growth

Lexington mayor Steve MacDougall delivered his 2016 State of the Town address Monday night

LEXINGTON, S.C. (WOLO) – It’s a 20,000 person town, that as many as 100,000 people pass through every day. In 15 years, Lexington has grown by 83 percent, making it the fourth-fastest growing municipality in South Carolina.

Lexington mayor Steve MacDougall delivered his 2016 State of the Town address Monday night.

“Our goal is to be aesthetically appealing and preserve our small town charm, while making enhancements that will continue to attract visitors and economic development,” MacDougall said.

MacDougall says good schools and a top police department have attracted new residents to town.

“We are who we are and we like being unique and doing things they way we see fit for our town,” he says.

MacDougall says the town used to have to make calls to get people to build in town. Since 2015, they’ve permitted $70 million in new construction.

“Now we are getting the phone calls and people are asking what we have in inventory.”

The mayor says there is plenty of dirt left to develop, but more development brings more cars, which could worsen many residents’ top concern; traffic congestion.

The town is transitioning to a new “adaptive computerized signalization system.” The five intersections that have been outfitted with the new technology so far, have already increased traffic flow by 18 percent. Each signal that’s added increases the flow.

“We have crews out every night installing those cameras, installing the lines that will carry the signal to and from those lights,” MacDougall said.

The goal is getting 19 lights up this year, and 16 more in 2017.

The mayor calls the most anticipated project of the year, the transition of Lake Drive and Church Street to one-way pairs.

Drivers in rush hour traffic along main street pass below what used to be the Lexington Mill pond. The dam holding it back breached back in October’s flooding, and the banks of the Twelve Mile Creek were wiped out.

Before the flooding, Lexington was about 60 percent done with a deal to add a walking trail around the pond, and install a bridge across the dam. The town does not own the 25 acre pond or the dam.

Mayor MacDougall says they’ve been advocating for the rebuilding of the pond to FEMA. They’re set to meet with representatives this month to find out whether the feds will be footing any of the bill. The timeline could extend over years.

Categories: Lexington, Local News