Midlands leaders are seeking to get a start on a long-stalled new entry into Columbia Metropolitan Airport.
It’s time to end a decade of delays on a new 3.2-mile road between the airport and I-26, officials in Lexington and Richland counties say in a letter sent this week to state transportation officials.
The $80 million project “is increasingly important for our region” as a cluster of manufacturers and distribution centers rise near the airport, said Lexington Mayor Randy Halfacre, a key voice in local economic development.
Their push comes as state officials cope with financial shortfalls that could lead to cancellation and indefinite delays for many major road improvements.
The new road and interchange is designed to give cargo haulers and airline passengers quicker access and departure from the airport instead of continuing to travel along congested Airport Road.
Local officials accumulated nearly $14 million in federal aid for the project, money that they fear will disappear if work doesn’t begin soon.
Unlike other projects in limbo, the Airport Connector is “shovel-ready” if state officials commit to finding a way to build it, Halfacre said.
Reach Flach at (803) 771-8483.