Motorists and residents traveling in Summerville, S.C., will finally see a relief in traffic congestion on the Berlin G. Myers Parkway as construction to build the last few miles of the roadway is on the way.
The South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) announced in an April 27 news release that it had awarded a $137 million contract to build the parkway's third and final phase, a 3.9 mi.-long stretch, after more than 18 years of planning, permitting and engineering work.
SCDOT has not yet released the name of the contractor it selected to complete the project in Summerville, located approximately 25 mi. northwest of Charleston.
The state transportation agency noted that extensive interagency coordination was needed to develop a project that met all regulatory requirements and fit well into the region. Several partnerships were formed during that time to bring this final phase to construction.
South Carolina Secretary of Transportation Christy Hall said cooperation was a significant factor in bringing about the parkway's final phase.
"SCDOT is very thankful for the many partners that worked tirelessly over the years to make this project a reality," she said in the release. "The level of cooperation and coordination on this project are unprecedented and we look forward to building this regionally significant and much needed [roadway]. In particular, I would like to thank the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for their commitment to ensuring that we deliver a great project, and to Sen. Lindsey Graham for his steadfast efforts to get the project to construction."
Roadway Expansion, Pathway Creation Part of Effort
The final phase of the project consists of constructing a new four-lane roadway and a shared-use multipurpose pathway along the Sawmill Branch Trail for bicyclists and pedestrians.
In its statement to the media, SCDOT explained that the Berlin G. Myers Parkway roadwork will not only reduce traffic on Summerville's Main Street but improve congestion throughout Dorchester County as the route connects other heavily traveled roads, including U.S. Highway 17A and Bacons Bridge Road.
Officials with the county said Berlin G. Myers will serve as a bypass route, relieving pressure on other local roads.
"Main Street is at its limits and cannot be extended. In addition, congestion will be relieved around Summerville High School," noted Stephen Grant, chair of the Dorchester County Transportation Authority (DCTA). "There are many partners to thank for persevering for many years to get this project to construction, especially the people of Summerville and Dorchester County who placed their trust in us to enhance the quality of life for our citizens."
While the project budget of $137 million is only an estimate, it is supported by $35 million in DCTA funds, $30 million in South Carolina Transportation Infrastructure Bank (SCTIB) funds and $74 million in Charleston Area Transportation Study/SCDOT Funds.
"This is an excellent example of how a focused and collaborative effort on a complicated and complex project can break through years of obstacles to provide much needed traffic relief for the citizens of our state," said John B. White Jr., chair of the SCTIB. [The bank] appreciates the opportunity to assist the DCTA, [and the] Charleston Area Transportation Study/SCDOT Fund [to] deliver a successful project for the Summerville area."
Today's top stories