Dorchester Road – still on schedule

  • Thursday, May 2, 2013

Leslie Cantu/Journal Scene -- Cars drive down Dorchester Road behind the homes on Mayfield Street in Ashborough West. No noise wall is planned for this section of the road widening project. --

It might not look it to those who regularly navigate Dorchester Road, but the road widening project is on schedule for its Nov. 30 completion, officials said Wednesday.
The rain has been an issue, but crews have been laying pipe and installing noise walls, said Donnie Dukes, senior vice president at Davis & Floyd.
“People aren’t really going to see a lot of activity until we get back in there to do paving. …The work going on, it’s not as visible as a paving crew,” he said.
Workers have been on the Ashborough West side of the road this week to take new noise readings, to see if the neighborhood might qualify for noise walls.
There is a long noise wall being installed on the east side of the road, and four shorter noise walls are planned for the west side of the road, but that still leaves sections of road – particularly from Tabby Lane to Nantucket Drive – that will be without a wall.
That’s been an issue for residents since the beginning of the project, said Mark Pilgrim, vice chairman of the Dorchester County Sales Tax Transportation Authority.
Simply standing alongside Dorchester Road, it appears that both sides would be equally needful of a noise wall. The actual criteria, however, have a strict cutoff.
Dukes said the models must first show a certain level of noise from the road, then must meet an expected decrease in noise because of a wall, and finally must come in under a maximum amount spent per household.
Some sections of Dorchester Road met the criteria and others didn’t, he said. Nonetheless, the authority is re-running the models. Even if the numbers come back favorably this time, there’s no guarantee the residents would get a noise wall, Pilgrim said.
S.C. DOT would need to agree to the wall being built because it would be responsible for maintenance, and DOT is under no obligation to approve a wall just because it meets criteria, Pilgrim said.
Dorchester Road drivers might also have noticed the power poles that have been moved to what will become the middle of the road.
That wasn’t done without thought – the poles had to be temporarily moved to give construction equipment the space to install noise walls, said Kim Asbill, spokeswoman for SCE&G.
Work will soon start on several projects along U.S. 78.
 “Seventy-eight’s going to be a beehive here in the next several months,” Pilgrim said.
The intersection projects should be completed in November.
More road projects
A 12-mile stretch from West Richardson Avenue to the Four Hole Swamp will be resurfaced in the next few weeks, Dukes said.
Next year, the sales tax authority will add shoulders and turn lanes, he said.
Work will also begin on the intersections of U.S. 78 and S.C. 27 and U.S. 78 and Deming Way, he said.
Both intersections will get signals, and the intersection with S.C. 27 will be straightened out.

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