The Greenville County Council finance committee unanimously recommended approving the Woodruff Road Congestion Relief project at the committee’s Nov. 15 meeting, paving the way for the matter to be taken up by full council next month. The project is to construct a 2.9-mile, four-lane bypass to ease congestion.
The projected costs
The overall project will run in the $120 million range and the county’s share of it is about $30.3 million. Meanwhile, the Greenville-Pickens Area Transportation Study (GPATS) is committing $42 million and $49 million is coming from the South Carolina Transportation Infrastructure Bank.
County Administrator Joe Kernell told the committee that in working on the intergovernmental agreement outlining the terms of the project’s financing, it was important to remember the county is dealing with a state agency in the infrastructure bank.
“You have to remember you’re dealing with a state agency where it’s essentially, ‘Here’s the money, here are the terms,’” he said. “There’s not a lot of flexibility.”
Councilman Tzouvelekas requested the review
County councilman Stan Tzouvelekas, who requested the proposal be sent to the finance committee earlier this month, said that while he supported the project, he had questions about the county’s fiscal obligations under the terms of the intergovernmental agreement governing the project’s financing.
Those concerns were echoed by committee members Willis Meadows and Ennis Fant, who questioned Kernell and county planning manager Keith Brockington about aspects of the project.
Brockington briefed the committee on the project’s history and expected timeline. He also explained that some of the project’s anticipated costs were based on the best estimates of engineers with the South Carolina Department of Transportation.
Committee chairman Dan Tripp and committee member Liz Seman both expressed concerns that if the committee or the full council failed to support the project, state and federal funding for future projects might be jeopardized.
With the finance committee’s recommendation for approval, the ordinance spelling out the terms of the intergovernmental will have to pass three readings to take effect.
Woodruff Road Congestion relief Project fast facts:
- Would construct a 2.9-mile, four-lane bypass to ease congestion
- Would involve construction/improvement of 10 new traffic roundabouts
- Is expected to reduce daily traffic on Woodruff Road by about 9,000 vehicles
- Is expected to be complete by 2029 with actual construction lasting three years
- Right of way acquisition is expected to begin in fall 2022 and will be handled by SCDOT with a projected budget of $22 million