Blythewood roadwork aims to keep up with area’s growth

COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO) — As areas of the Palmetto State grow, infrastructure must keep up.

In order to match the growth occurring in Blythewood, a new road widening project broke ground this morning.

“We know that Blythewood is one of the top five fastest growing municipalities in South Carolina,” said Richland County District 2 councilman Derrek Pugh. “We also have an amazing Scout Motors project that’s coming. They’re going to invest $2 billion and bring 4,000 jobs.”

However, anyone who commutes through Blythewood each day knows that there is already a traffic backup problem in town.

“We’re experiencing backups at the end of Blythewood Road where it bottlenecks,” Pugh said. “We’re hoping that we can have a steady flow of traffic.”

The Blythewood lane widening project that broke ground Thursday aims to do just that.

“Expect a safer roadway for pedestrians and traffic as well as more capacity and shorter wait times,” said project manager Michael Green. 

Funded by the Richland County penny tax, the project first has to clear the area where the two new lanes will go.

“The reason that has to happen now is because there’s utility relocation,” said Michael Maloney, Richland County Public Works director. “There’s water mains, communication cables and more. Those have to be put  to the new right of way.”

Utility relocation requires a lot of work, but those involved with the project’s design say that it will not cause too much disruption to daily traffic.

“There would be times where we would have temporary closures during the day when they are putting new pavement in,” Maloney said. “The construction project is designed to keep two lanes of traffic open like it is now.”

The current construction is most likely not the last bit of road work that will take place in Blythewood. 

“The widening of Blythewood Road will be the first of four projects in our area,” said Blythewood mayor Bryan Franklin. “Our town council validated these projects in 2020.”

“We are anticipating growth. We want to make sure the growth is controlled and doesn’t diminish quality of life,” Pugh said. “We want to make sure their voices are heard and we’re not just force-feeding something to them.”

The project is expected to be completed by spring of 2025.

Categories: Local News, Richland