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GSP Tiger

Eastern Spartanburg Beltway

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Could Spartanburg use another, or a functionable, three digit interstate (3di) in the future?

Years ago, there was mention of a limited access corridor stretching from Gaffney to Woodruff servicing eastern Spartanburg County. Add the growth of northeastern Spartanburg County (Boiling Springs, Chesnee, Cowpens), and you may have significant planning to do.

My thought is to construct a 3di beltway for eastern Spartanburg County. The corridor would originate in Inman at I-26, travel near Boiling Springs, Lake Bowen and Chesnee, cross I-85 at Cowpens, travel southward west of Pacolet, and end back at 26 in Woodruff.

The second phase would be extending I-585 to the current I-85, then through Boiling Springs, west of Chesnee, then terminate at US-221 going to Forest City and Marion (NC).

Of course, this is nothing, but food for thought.

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Its an interesting thought. The people who were/are pushing the Woodruff-Pacolet-Gaffney highway seemed to think it was a good idea. BTW, I don't think that idea is dead yet.

Why would this road be needed? Spartanburg doesn't need relief from traffic congestion- at least not that far out of town. My main concern is that I would not want the road to end up like the Southern Connector in Greenville. If its a general transportation need, I would rather see local streets improved and new ones built to make the route options better.

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Its an interesting thought. The people who were/are pushing the Woodruff-Pacolet-Gaffney highway seemed to think it was a good idea. BTW, I don't think that idea is dead yet.

Why would this road be needed? Spartanburg doesn't need relief from traffic congestion- at least not that far out of town. My main concern is that I would not want the road to end up like the Southern Connector in Greenville. If its a general transportation need, I would rather see local streets improved and new ones built to make the route options better.

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If one were to base an argument for an eastern beltway strictly on present requirements and future traffic projections then it would be darn difficult to justify such a project. However, one only needs to visit Gaffney, Pacolet, Jonesville, and Union to see that some sort of economic stimulus is needed. These communities are barely hanging on.

I was speaking with a Pacolet resident just yesterday who tells me that the "bypass" is still a topic of conversation in his community. Obviously, he and mny others in that area supports a project that will (hopefully) help bring jobs to the area.

As someone who loves roads my position is that stimulus money should be spent on repairing / improving existing infrastructure. For instance, I'd love to see Interstate 585 improved and an interchange built to connect it with Interstate 85. I'd also like to see a connector built between the SC-129 and I-85 interchange and US-29 although neither of these is on the SPATS agenda.

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Connectivity is a valid reason to build roads. I would much rather see new streets around the county than a new interstate. The bypass would be in that category because it would presumably be a 4-lane highway. If that were the case, I could get behind it. I'm just not in favor of new interstates.

As for economic development, there's no way to know for sure if a new highway would impact those areas. Presumably it would, but I don't know if people would actually use it to bypass Spartanburg. And for that matter, do we really want them to?

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Though personally I wouldn't like to see this built - but I could imagine a Spartanburg to Rock Hill freeway being built to serve as a eastern Spartanburg County bypass. The freeway would come out of I-85 near US 221 near Clifton & turn east north of Pacolet crossing SC 211 & intersecting somewhere west of Rock Hill. It would primarily be a developer backed freeway, since - assuming sprawl does go unchecked within 50 years, there will be poor highway service for those in southern Cherokee & western York Counties. Considering SC 5 by that time will be near capacity as both a suburban road & major highway connecting the southern Charlotte suburbs (Rock Hill) to I-85 there would be additional need for a connector to I-85. The highway would also provide access for those living in southern Cherokee County that work in Spartanburg or southern Charlotte.

Again - I would hope it wouldn't be built, at least for the sake of protecting greenspace along the Broad River. But within 50 years, I would definitely see the neccessity if people start building in southern Cherokee & western York Counties.

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