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Southern Connector

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There is a chance that southeastern Spartanburg County may get its own Southern Connector. I would connect I-26 to I-85 in SE Spartanburg county following a new route from around Woodruff (at 26) through Pauline, Glenn Springs, Pacolet and into Cherokee County just east of Cowpens to meet I-85. I have a map from the paper, but I must find a scanner, but I will try to post it as soon as I can.

It has been discussed before, but the Mayor of Pacolet has brought it back up. Spartanburg, Union, and Cherokee counties would all benefit from this new highway. They are seekeing federal funds to complete it.

I am not sure if it will be an interstate route (like the Southern Connector in Greenville) or a regular rural highway like 176 in that area.

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I have known about this for some time now. It will be nice to see this become a reality a few years in the future.

I'm sure this will be a four lane highway of some type. The question is what type of road will it be. It should at least be a limited access highway with grade separated interchanges. This would allow traffic to flow smoothly around Spartanburg's southeastern areas. I'm unsure whether it should become an interstate. If it should, there are some possible route numbers: 685, 885, 226, 426, 626, 826.

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My biggest question would be who would use this road. It would not be close enough to the city to be used locally. As far as interstate travel, I guess it would be good for those wanting to go from Gaffney to Newberry. If you go much lower or higher, then I-77 comes into play. I think that this issue (and the toll) is part of the Greenville connector's low usage.

Spartanburg does need to continue to study this and other proposals. I haven't studied a map, but woulnd't mind seeing a big "spruce-up" of 221 from I-26 and look at ways to expand up toward 85 closer to Cowpens/Gaffney.

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I think the issue is not to relieve congestion (since there is very litte in that area) but to provide access to a part of the County that is out of the developmental loop.

South and Southestern Spartanburg County's economy is more like Union and Cherokee than Spartanburg.

The article said that in 2003 there would have been approximately 4,000 to 8,000 vehicles per day using the road, and in 2025, it could serve 14,000 to 21,000.

"In contrast, Highway 9 near Rainbow Lake Road is traveled by about 24,000 vehicles a day"

So, I tend to think it would just be a regular clear-cut highway like 176 already is in that area. I could be wrong though.

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A "Southern Connector" for this area is much needed for developmental purposes. However, it will take a lot, and I mean a lot of political pull to get it done. I don't see Union and Cherokee Counties with much pull in Columbia these days.

I would prefer to see a much shorter connector running from I-26 and US-221 running around the southern and eastern sides of Spartanburg. It would link up with I-85 around the Cowpens / Converse area. This would not have to be limited access and thus would be cheaper to build.

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I think I could get used to the idea. :) My only hesitation would be the fact that it will encourage a whole lot more suburban sprawl, rather than help intensify the focus on a more dynamic downtown Spartanburg. The writers seem to have been correct when they said the Upstate will become another Minneapolis/St.Paul.

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The editorial in today's Spartanburg Herald-Journal made a strong case for the "Southern Connector". The argument for the road goes like this: both Union and Cherokee Counties have high unemployment and have largely missed out on development that has occurred in other upstate counties. Better access would make it easier for these counties, espcially Union County, to attract new jobs which it desperately needs.

If anyone has driven through Union County it is easy to understand why some people may be wary of investing there. The county seat of Union is quite isolated. Both interstates 26 and 85 are about 30 minutes away and access to them is diffcult.

When the interstate system was being mapped out in the 1950's Union was bypassed. US-176 was the preferred route from Charleston to Spartanburg back then. Since I-26 opened Union County has languished in terms of economic development. Will a new corridor help? Not entirely but it certainly could not hurt. Georgia developed and constructed developmental corridors several years ago and this has helped rural communities like Union attract new industry and business.

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Union won't benefit too much unless it gets a road throug the heart of the county. This one can't hurt though.

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