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Hey all, 

R-S has started this new thread because:

  • the new infrastructure bill(s) working their way through Congress  and the possibility this money will filter into Spartanburg.
  • population growth that is already straining our existing  and aging transportation infrastructure .

Any transportation and infrastructure topic is welcome here.  

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I'm on SPATS policy for (probably) the next couple of years, so as I get documents produced for that transportation-related committee, I'll try to share some of them.  One of my friends in the transportation world speculated that there ought to be some interesting action coming in transportation infrastructure over the next few years.  

I did learn - and I may be late to the party here - that the I-85/US 290 intersection is going to be rebuilt as a diverging diamond intersection over the next few years - and will be the second one in the state.  

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My first road and highway improvement "wish":

Widen I-26 from US-176 to SC-296.  Probably not on SCDOT's hi priority list but traffic is increasingly straining the early 1960's design.  Bridge widths are narrow and the interchanges at US-176 and New Cut Road are inadequate.  

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On 8/16/2021 at 5:39 PM, roads-scholar said:

My first road and highway improvement "wish":

Widen I-26 from US-176 to SC-296.  Probably not on SCDOT's hi priority list but traffic is increasingly straining the early 1960's design.  Bridge widths are narrow and the interchanges at US-176 and New Cut Road are inadequate.  

I just looked back at one of the charts I got handed a few weeks back, and in the long-range funding spreadsheet, I see funds allocated in Fiscal Year 2027 for widening I-26 from US 176 (exit 15) to SC 296 (exit 22).  So it's at least on the list.  

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1 hour ago, Historyguy said:

I just looked back at one of the charts I got handed a few weeks back, and in the long-range funding spreadsheet, I see funds allocated in Fiscal Year 2027 for widening I-26 from US 176 (exit 15) to SC 296 (exit 22).  So it's at least on the list.  

I think I like you History Guy!  

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On 8/16/2021 at 5:39 PM, roads-scholar said:

My first road and highway improvement "wish":

Widen I-26 from US-176 to SC-296.  Probably not on SCDOT's hi priority list but traffic is increasingly straining the early 1960's design.  Bridge widths are narrow and the interchanges at US-176 and New Cut Road are inadequate.  

What if Interstate 26 is being widened to six lanes from Asheville to Charleston?

Exit 15 (United States Route 176/Asheville Highway) needs traffic signalization on Asheville Highway.  Increased traffic and being unable to make left turns within considerable time necessitate the need.

Is there enough room to widen Interstate 26 under the Interstate 85 overpass?

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As far as relatively simple, contained, and straight-forward improvements go, I'd like to see new exits on I-26 at Clark Road in Boiling Springs (to relieve pressure on Hwy-9) and I-26 at Old Georgia Road near Roebuck (to relieve pressure on East Blackstock and Anderson Mill). 

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48 minutes ago, westsider28 said:

As far as relatively simple, contained, and straight-forward improvements go, I'd like to see new exits on I-26 at Clark Road in Boiling Springs (to relieve pressure on Hwy-9) and I-26 at Old Georgia Road near Roebuck (to relieve pressure on East Blackstock and Anderson Mill). 

About two decades ago there was a movement to build an interchange at Old Georgia Road and I-26 but NIMBYS made a lot of noise and the effort was dropped.  

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18 hours ago, roads-scholar said:

About two decades ago there was a movement to build an interchange at Old Georgia Road and I-26 but NIMBYS made a lot of noise and the effort was dropped.  

A lot has changed since then.  It's time to revisit.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Honestly the biggest issue I see in Spartanburg County is a lack of interest in regulations that will expand the street network over time, and a lack of interest in public funding of practical improvements. All of the issues most people complain about (new traffic light at X intersection, traffic congestion on X street) are symptoms of a much larger issue - bad planning.

Spartanburg County, and SC in general, are growing in the Atlanta/Charlotte model of widening roads to solve congestion. To be fair, some roads do need to be widened as they are converted form rural country roads to function urban streets (with curbs, sidewalks, turning lanes, etc). But the next layer is to look at the network of streets and how they function. At what point is widening no longer a solution? Have you been on Blackstock Road lately? Or Maybe Woodruff Rd in Greenville is a better example. Harbison in Columbia. Ashley Phosphate in Charleston. These are massive roads with congestion for ages, and widening isn't really a practical solution for a whole host of reasons. There is only so much that "signal timing" and "widening" can fix. What happens when those aren't options anymore?

Not only do you need to have a network of thoroughfares, you also need a network of non-thoroughfare (aka local) streets so that everyone doesn't need to take the same street to get around. There's a reason that every city that ever existed prior to 1950 was comprised of a grid of streets, including Spartanburg. 

There are two areas where these issues can be addressed: 1) public sector and 2) private sector. SPATS covers the public sector. They need to map out future thoroughfare connections and then find ways to work with SCDOT and USDOT grants to fund their construction. If you aren't buying and reserving ROW for future thoroughfare connections, there will eventually come a point where construction in not feasible. This is something that SPATS can be a part of, and IMO should push for/lead.

The private sector should be required to build street grids that are extendable into adjacent developments as they get built. Building a grid of streets with connections reduced the need to travel on the primary thoroughfare, and creates nicer environments to walk and bike. They already build streets, so the requirement only changes their alignment so that the next developer who comes in can connect and extend the streets.

Both of these should be addressed and incorporated at the SPATS and County Comprehensive Planning level. Set the vision and policy you want to see, then set up the regulatory and public funding strategy to implement it. Simple, right? lol.

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  • 1 month later...

Has anyone besides me noticed the appalling deterioration of SCDOT's "big green signs" on our interstates and highways/streets approaching the interstates?   Peeling lettering is what concerns me.  I've written SCDOT but have received only "canned" replies.  

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  • 3 weeks later...

Having this thread bumped reminded me that the City has an RFP out for a "Downtown Spartanburg Transportation Plan".  It includes planning for pretty much every conceivable transportation mode using every plan, analysis, and dataset available.  Complete streets, future traffic projections, road and pedestrian network gaps, crossing opportunities, safety considerations, etc (even GA-NC rail).  It will be interesting to see what comes from this.  I think it may complement/supplement the new Comprehensive Plan.  Here's the focus area map:

transmap.JPG.5f1e76d14a59611a885efaffb6ca3ab9.JPG

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On 8/24/2021 at 5:58 PM, hub-city said:

I agree with everyone saying the I-26/176 interchange needs to be restructured or replaced.  I would love to see something like the I-26/Reidville Rd. Interchange.

I would not mind improving the partial cloverleaf with ramps from Interstate 26 eastbound to United States Route 176 (Asheville Highway) westbound into Inman and from Interstate 26 westbound to United States Route 176 eastbound into Spartanburg.  Acceleration lanes would be needed on the Asheville Highway bridges.

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On 8/24/2021 at 6:31 PM, hub-city said:

Absolutely on the Clark Rd. Interchange.  If they would put an intersection there and work on improvements to Clark Rd. itself, it would help Hwy. 9 tremendously.

Clark Road has four all-way stops between East Main Street and Boiling Springs Road/Highway 9:  Bishop Road, Spring Valley Road, Sugar Ridge Road, and Seay Road.  It is maintained by Spartanburg County instead of the the state.  I think improvements could be made if the state acquired Clark Road and Bible Church Road from Spartanburg County.

The best improvement would be widening Old Furnace Road from two lanes to four lanes from Asheville Highway to Chesnee Highway.  Adding a turn lane will not resolve increased traffic.

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14 hours ago, Greenville Paladin said:

Clark Road has four all-way stops between East Main Street and Boiling Springs Road/Highway 9:  Bishop Road, Spring Valley Road, Sugar Ridge Road, and Seay Road.  It is maintained by Spartanburg County instead of the the state.  I think improvements could be made if the state acquired Clark Road and Bible Church Road from Spartanburg County.

The best improvement would be widening Old Furnace Road from two lanes to four lanes from Asheville Highway to Chesnee Highway.  Adding a turn lane will not resolve increased traffic.

IMO the priorities are:

  • New interchange at I-26 and US-176.  Try turning toward Inman or Quik Trip after exiting from eastbound I-26.  Its almost impossible and even dangerous during rush hour.  
  • Interchange for Clark Road and I-26 with improvements to clark all the way to SC-9.  This could alleviate traffic on Old Furnace Road.
  • Pipe Dream: Extend I-585 northward toward Boiling Springs.
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So if I am reading the tea leaves correctly, PAL is gonna put bike lanes in on Country Club Rd at some point as they have had all the trees that would be in the way taken down. I have to assume when this happens the road might possibly be repaved because God knows it needs it. However in the mean time the city decides to come out and patch the road AGAIN and makes the road even worse than it was.

Who are the idiots that are in charge of this project?

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8 minutes ago, Sparkleman said:

So if I am reading the tea leaves correctly, PAL is gonna put bike lanes in on Country Club Rd at some point as they have had all the trees that would be in the way taken down. I have to assume when this happens the road might possibly be repaved because God knows it needs it. However in the mean time the city decides to come out and patch the road AGAIN and makes the road even worse than it was.

Who are the idiots that are in charge of this project?

Dude, it seems like you have some sort of axe to grind with the City, but you're terribly uninformed.  First of all, Country Club Road is owned and maintained by SCDOT, so they're the "idiots in charge", as usual.  Secondly, there's been a plan underway since ~2014 to redo the road and add a side-path, with like a dozen different public input sessions over the years.  It'll still be primarily two lanes, but they'll be wider and have curb-and-gutters until around CCS.  There will be a 10-foot-wide multi-use path on the side, dubbed the "Trolley Line Trail", that will function as an extension of the Rail Trail all the way to Glendale.

Construction is supposed to start spring-2022 and take about 2 years to fully complete.  It's a $20 million project. (P&C article)

Here's a link to the SCDOT page about the project.

Here's a PDF I saved from 2017 that is pretty close to what the final product will be.  I think the run-in to Glendale is a bit different, but that's about it.

CC Road plan.pdf

Here are some renderings:

1171798666_CCRrtextrendering.thumb.jpg.7b62c36a66fe242c2350e8b34802113e.jpg

ccr1.png.2d7f2d1b24581e7db32cb3224955a921.png

ccr2.jpg.cedddf8f9a394cfa98457db38b309818.jpg

This will be a vast improvement to the road, add walkability and bike-ability to the corridor, increase safety, extend the County's most popular recreation amenity (Rail Trail), allow better access and encourage investment in Glendale.

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17 minutes ago, Sparkleman said:

Thanks for the info westsider. I guess I am just bitter about how and when my tax dollars are spent. I honestly don't mind being taxed, I just like to see results every now and then when it concerns infrastructure.

Totally understandable.  And SCDOT is notoriously slow.  Just gotta be sure to place the blame on the appropriate party, haha.

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It's understandable because road projects take a long time to engineer. We talk about it at a meeting and get excited about it, then it takes 5 years before you see any change. It's aggravating but also just the nature of the process.

SCDOT adds an extra layer of BS though. I think this project is funded by SPATS allocations (which is connected to SCDOT).

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