SOUTH CAROLINA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
A walk in the park: New sidewalks enhance communities
The Federal Highway Association published a 691-page document espousing the benefits of enlarging or adding sidewalks to neighborhoods and communities, citing economic development, healthier lifestyles, and improving home and community values.
The South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) is taking those words to heart, with help from Neel-Schaffer. The SCDOT contracted with our firm to provide design services for sidewalk enhancement programs in six communities for the Central Midlands Regional Production Group. Each project included the installation of sidewalks, while some included curbs and gutters, drainage, paving, landscaping, and lighting.
Three of the projects were completed by the summer of 2014. Design work has been completed for the other three communities, but construction had yet to begin on those enhancements by July of 2014.
- In the Town of Irmo, concrete sidewalks were installed along College Street and Eastview Drive.
- In the Town of Prosperity, curbs, gutters and sidewalks were added to South Main Street, while concrete sidewalks were built along School Drive and Brown Street.
- In the City of Tega Cay, a new crosswalk was built at the intersection of Catamaran Street and Tega Cay Drive, and sidewalks were built along Tega Cay Drive. Additionally, several flat “relief areas,” complete with safety rails and park-style benches, were built adjacent to the sidewalks in severely sloping areas.
Other communities set for improvements include the Town of Gilbert, the City of Rock Hill and the Town of Lexington.
Each of these improvement projects, while not large in overall scope, are contributing to an improved quality of life for the residents of these communities. They also enhance economic development and are part of a larger “Complete Streets” philosophy being embraced by transportation officials across the country and in South Carolina.
Neel-Schaffer, in part because of the design services we provided for these six communities, was one of six firms selected by SCDOT for a new Transportation Alternative Program On-Call Enhancement contract. This three-year, $1.5 million contract will help other communities in the state make improvements by adding sidewalks, bike paths and other transportation enhancements.