Midlands leaders submit regional road plan

tflach@thestate.comJune 16, 2014 

RACHAEL LOWE

— Leaders of Columbia, Lexington County and Richland County signed off Monday on a $358 million package of road improvements for the Midlands.

The partnership – the first of its kind locally for transportation – goes to the State Infrastructure Bank for acceptance.

“This endeavor marks an unprecedented teaming,” Richland County Council chairman Norman Jackson said.

Bank members could provide state aid of up to $336.2 million for the package. The remaining money would come from local sources.

The projects would be built in stages over the next decade, officials said.

Projects in the package include:

• $145.3 million for a railroad overpass and beautification of Assembly Street between Elmwood Avenue and Rosewood Drive

• $112.4 million for a new entrance to Columbia Metropolitan Airport off I-26

• $46.3 million for beautification of Huger Street from I-126 to the Granby neighborhood

• $36.4 million to extend and beautify Greene Street to Huger Street to assist in the University of South Carolina’s expansion toward the Congaree River

• $17.6 million for extending Williams Street toward the river for USC expansion and new development

The package represents “a shared vision” benefiting the region, Columbia City Councilman Brian DeQuincey Newman said.

It is aimed at easing congestion, improving commerce and beautifying major roads, officials said.

Officials at USC, Columbia Metropolitan Airport and the Central Midlands Council of government also support the plan.

Reach Flach at (803) 771-8483.

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