County to get cash for road improvements

Barnwell County is getting a little more cash to put into its pot for paving potholes and smoothing roads.

As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the county is getting about $963,000 more than expected in federal stimulus dollars, according to a press release from the South Carolina Department of Transportation.

Some of that money will be used to cut traffic congestion at the Five Points corner in Barnwell where S.C. 3, S.C. 64 and Fuller Street converge.

Barnwell County originally was given $1,379,416 from the ARRA pavement improvement program.
But the SCDOT Commission had $106 million left in stimulus funds so it decided to distribute it equally among the state's six congressional districts, said the press release.

Barnwell County's portion is $751,342 to go toward repaving roads and $212,500 for an improvement project for the SC 64 and S-224 intersection (Clinton Street, next to the Burger King in Barnwell), said the release.

"It hasn't been determined yet what other roads will be paved," said Jennifer Tinsley, the director of planning for Lower Savannah Council on Government.

LSCOG had recommended projects for the ARRA and the SC 64 intersection was one of them, Tinsley said.

Tinsley said part of the project will include straightening the curb so large trucks can get through the intersection easier.

"It (intersection project) will encourage truckers to use Clinton Street instead of Five Points," said Stan Holladay, the resident maintenance engineer for SCDOT.

The project will provide traffic relief for Five Points, he noted.

"Large trucks can't negotiate that corner (Clinton Street) too well so there will be a decrease in the angle of the curb," said Holladay.

Work at the intersection will be underway soon and it's expected to be complete by the end of summer, said Tinsley.

A total of 6.57 miles of road will be repaved in Barnwell for the original $1,379,416 approved in February including:

• a section of S.C. 39 totaling about 3.5 miles from the Savannah River Site entrance on US 278 to the Williston town limits;

• a section of Hagood Avenue totaling about half a mile by the Barnwell Primary School;

• Legion Road in Blackville totaling about 2.5 miles.