WATCH: Residents Express Frustration About New Neighbor

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WEST COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) – The arrival of a new WalMart Neighborhood Market in West Columbia has nearby residents upset.

Bull Bundrick has lived in his house on Emanuel Church Road for 42 years.

“When we moved out here, it was no traffic,” Bundrick said. “Just a rural road, and it has boomed in the last ten years, and it’s really taken off.”

Because of the arrival of the store down the street, he and 15 other homeowners have listed their houses on the market as a commercial tract. Beyond the effect the new neighbor has had on property values, Bundrick says the widening of Emanuel Church Road has created problems that he’s still waiting for someone to fix.

“You gotta go over this big mound to get into the road and this road, as busy as it is, you don’t have time to slowly get out of your driveway,” he said. “You need to get out and you need to get in.”

Bundrick is describing what he calls the speed bump at the end of his driveway, paved after the road widening left an eight inch gap between the two. He says there are four other driveways that look the same; some of them are much worse. The road was widened to make room for a turning lane into the new Walmart.

Bundrick and his neighbors say Cypress Equities, the company managing the project’s construction, promised to fix the driveways a month ago. Tuesday night, a managing principal wrote to Bundrick asking for patience and expressing regret at the delay, but emphasizing that the work must be approved by the South Carolina Department of Transportation.

ABC Columbia News talked to a district permit engineer at DOT, who oversaw all the road work. That engineer says they’ve given both the contractor and WalMart the go ahead to fix the driveways. The change was noted in a final walk-through back on July 29.

A spokesperson for WalMart sent this statement in regard to the issue:

“We work hard to be good neighbors everywhere we operate, and in the event someone believes we have issues to address we take those concerns seriously and work with them toward a resolution. Our approach was no different here. We’re grateful for the feedback and will address future concerns appropriately.”

Only time will tell whether Bundrick and his neighbors will be able to sell their homes to a developer. Real estate agents estimate it could take up to ten years.
Categories: Lexington, Local News, News