‘Stuck’: Community still waiting years after paying for road expansion

FORT MILL, S.C. — There’s relief on the way for thousands of drivers in Fort Mill facing congestion on a popular roadway, but it won’t be seen for another few years.

Part of the Fort Mill Parkway will be expanding from two lanes to five, from Sutton Road at Interstate 77 to Banks Road. Voters approved the project back in 2017, but they’re only getting a first look at the plans at a meeting Wednesday night.

Channel 9′s South Carolina Reporter Tina Terry also learned Wednesday that physical construction on the project might not even start for another two years.

A brand new subdivision in Fort Mill is already attracting dozens of new families, despite the busy road nearby.

“I love the area, the area’s very nice and we love our new home,” said one neighbor; but there’s a caveat. “Around 4 or 5 p.m. when work lets out or school’s getting out, I try to avoid certain routes on that road to avoid waiting such long times in the car with the kids.”

Fort Mill Parkway is a road that county leaders have been planning to widen since the voter approval in 2017. During a meeting Wednesday evening at Riverview Elementary School, the plans were finally put on display.

“Folks trying to get to soccer practice or travel across town, they’re stuck in the congestion,” said York County Assistant Engineer Patrick Hamilton. “With only being a two-lane road, there’s only a certain number of vehicles can get pushed through at a time.”

More than $23 million has been set aside for the project, but leaders say it’ll take at least another 18 months just for the right-of-way acquisition process. The construction itself may not even start until 2025.

“Unfortunately, it’s just a necessary evil we have to go through with the roadway project,” Hamilton said. “We ask for their patience; the project is fully funded, it’s guaranteed to happen. It’s just a matter of us going through these steps that we have to go through to get to construction.”

Once the construction does start, it could take another two and a half years until everything’s finished.

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