York County SC Pennies for Progress road construction update

On Monday night, Pennies for Progress manager Patrick Hamilton updated York County Council on several major road projects happening in the county.

Projects include major highway widening, intersection improvements and resurfacing.

Here are the highlights of what’s happening now:

▪ S.C. 160 West going into North Carolina, near Zoar Road just outside of Tega Cay, has curb and gutter installed, with guard rails and storm drainage. Asphalt is down on one side, and Hamilton said Monday the new pavement could finish this week so traffic can shift onto it next week.

▪ S.C. 274 and Pole Branch Road in Lake Wylie has its five-lane bridge over Mill Creek coming along on schedule.

“They are going to build half that bridge, switch traffic, and tear down the existing bridge and build the other half,” Hamilton said.

Pavement is on the ground at the new intersection of Pole Branch and Fewell roads. A six-month closure and detour on Pole Branch is in effect.

▪ The Anderson and Cowan Farm roads intersection realignment in Rock Hill has curb and gutter, with storm drainage, installed. Bad weather forecast this winter will put the project at completion next spring or summer.

▪ Cherry Road in Rock Hill is almost done. Resurfacing in the Winthrop University area been going on much of the year. Crews had to dig down 13 inches to replace pavement. Installation of the final surface, Hamilton said Monday, should wrap up this week. Side roads and driveways will take a little longer to tie into the work.

▪ Most of the work at the Gold Hill Road and I-77 interchange is happening at night. New pavement is down on the interstate now, and traffic has been shifted.

“They’ve also shifted traffic on Gold Hill Road,” Hamilton said. “This allows them to begin work on widening the bridge over I-77.”

▪ The Barrett Road and U.S. 321 connector in Clover has fill dirt coming in, and a culvert has been installed. Completion should come next summer.


Projects in the final plan stage just prior to construction include a five-lane widening of S.C. 557 in Lake Wylie, three lanes on Mt. Gallant Road from Dave Lyle Boulevard to Anderson Road and realignment of the Fort Mill Parkway and Spratt Street intersection near Riverview Elementary School.

All those jobs should have plans submitted to South Carolina Department of Transportation by the end of this month.

The Mt. Gallant Road site is near where the Carolina Panthers plan to put new team headquarters off I-77. Team and area traffic leaders say they want to coordinate road plans so Pennies projects won’t be torn up in the near future to make way for road improvements required with the Panthers development.

“We are coordinating with the Panthers,” Hamilton said. “This is the stretch of Mt. Gallant that runs along the new (team) site.”


Projects going to bid this winter include the U.S. 321 and Kings Mountain Road intersection, 10 miles of resurfacing work in the Rock Hill area (Neely Store, Percival and Reservation Roads, plus Main Street), almost 14 miles of resurfacing in western York County (Woodlawn, Kendrick, Grandview and Kingsburry Roads, plus S.C. 49 in Sharon) and 10 miles of resurfacing county roads (Liberty Hill, Penshurst, Colonial and Hoodtown Roads, Regent Parkway, AO Jones Boulevard).

The projects should be sent to bid in January 2020. Typically that bid schedule, on those scale projects, would be done by the end of November in the same year, Hamilton said.

“We have a lot of resurfacing projects hitting the streets this winter and being active throughout all of next year,” Hamilton said.


The county is acquiring right-of-way for several projects. Some of them have been at this stage for a while.

“Right of way can take anywhere from a year to two years on projects, depending on the number of parcels,” Hamilton said.

Those roads include U.S. 21/Hwy. 51, S.C. 160 East, Riverview Road, S.C. 72, the U.S. 321/Johnson Road/railroad intersection in York and Bate Harvey Road in Clover. Bate Harvey, with fewer land parcels involved than the other projects, likely will go to construction first from the list.


While work seeks to improve traffic conditions, county leaders say for a while it might slow some.

Council chairman Michael Johnson said a recent morning trip on S.C. 160 in the Fort Mill area cost him 48 minutes, just from the Wendy’s on 160 to The Peach Stand. Another morning trip it took 32 minutes getting from the recycling center at Baxter to I-77 South.

The issue, Johnson said, is traffic avoiding the ongoing improvements at Gold Hill and I-77.

“Instead of using Gold Hill Road, now the traffic has decided to come down Pleasant trying to get on 160,” he said.

Johnson asked whether SCDOT could look at traffic signal sequencing, or law enforcement could come make sure people are following the traffic lights the right way.

“When you get up to an intersection you realize what they’re doing,” Johnson said. “Cars who are waiting at the light to make a left, they just go out in the intersection and they block the intersection. So now traffic can’t go from the other lights.”

Councilman Robert Winkler serves western York County. Recent work on Hunter Street is causing concern, he said. There’s an elementary school on the road. It was a DOT decision on when to start work, but Winkler believes a better choice would’ve been the summer.

“I think they could have made a better decision than starting Hunter Street after school started, and starting it this late in the year to where they’re probably not going to finish it until next year,” Winkler said. “It’s caused a mess and a safety concern for our students.”

Hamilton said new traffic issues arising during construction isn’t new. It’s another cost of the eventual improvements.

“Traffic tries to find the path of least resistance, so with the construction going on there they are going to try and find other routes,” Hamilton said.

By John Marks, Staff Reporter with The Herald