Friday, June 27, 2014
The Dorchester County Sales Tax Transportation Authority met Tuesday to try to move Phase II of the Dorchester Road Project forward.
Phase II consists of improvements along Dorchester Road from Old Orangeburg Road to U.S. 17-A.
Two area residents, Mark Turner and Earl Ross, appeared before the commission to voice concerns over the project, including observations that they have seen no one doing any work in the area for some time. They also noted that the engineering firm responsible needs to be held accountable for any and all problems they have caused in the construction process.
Turner said he is less concerned with amenities such as walking trails and sound walls than he is with severe traffic congestion caused by construction activities – or lack thereof – in the area. He noted that businesses are suffering, especially around some of the unfinished intersections, because people either cannot see businesses or simply are not willing to deal with the traffic and the difficulty of negotiating their way around to get to those businesses.
“If it takes another year to do this then you need to deal with the traffic first, and that means fixing the intersections first,” he said. “We need to get traffic through and get the economy of this county back up and running.”
Authority members acknowledged their frustration with the situation as well.
Bad weather, engineering issues, and the ever-present and ubiquitous red tape are just some of the challenges that have been a part of the project, noted DCTA Member Mark Pilgrim.
Pilgrim put forth the motions for DCTA to get a letter of credit for funds to complete the project and to allow the chairman to execute a revised Inter-Government Agreement authorizing continuation of the construction on Phase II. Both motions passed unanimously.
“The thing is, we are doing things – but a lot of it is behind the scenes and no one sees that,” he said. “Hopefully, what we have done today will help cut through some of that.”
Pilgrim said he is hopeful that people in the area would see some significant progress within the next month.
The public can get updates and information on the project on the Dorchester County website at www.dorchesterroadstax.org.