North Main Street widening project now complete, says City of Columbia and Richland County officials

COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO) — Officials with the City of Columbia and Richland County say a project to revitalize a large stretch of North Main Street is now complete.

The widening project was meant to improve nearly two miles of road between Anthony Avenue and Fuller Avenue.

“Vital intersections in this area have been upgraded particularly at North Main Street and Monticello Road. There are also other improvements from cross walks, and upgraded pedestrian routes to landscaping and street lighting. Overhead utilities have been relocated underground,” says District Eight Chair Overture Walker.

Officials report that $35.4 million of the approximately $54 million project was funded with the Richland County Penny Tax.

$16.7 million came from a federal TIGER discretionary grant, $1.3 million came from federal legislation, and $5.8 million came from the City of Columbia for water and sewer work.

Mayor Daniel Rickenmann says he would like to see new business from service industries come to the area including physical therapists, banks, pharmacies, neighborhood grocery stores, and restaurants.

“You think about all the different services that could come and cluster together to improve the community. And this is what they want to see, they don’t want to see a run down road and infrastructure crumbling if they’re going to make an investment. They want to see where we have pride and we’ve invested. And if we’re investing they’re going to invest,” Rickenmann says.

District Four Richland County Councilmember Paul Livingston says the new improvements will provide more than just new business.

“It’s more convenient. It becomes more attractive for businesses. It makes the community feel good about being here, it makes you feel safe. It’s just tremendous benefits. Easy access in and out where you’re trying to go. Countless benefits for our community,” Livingston says.

“That should always be the purpose of a project like that. That is, to serve the community, first and foremost. And not let it just be a path through to the community, but people will stop, shop, socialize… And enjoy the amenities,” says Former Columbia Councilmember Sam Davis.

Livingston says though now complete, the project was temporarily delayed due to old trolley rail tracks that were found embedded in the ground and had to be unearthed.

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