News 12 at 6 o'clock, Oct. 4, 2007
AIKEN, S.C. -- There is fallout in Aiken over a road construction project. People who live along Silver Bluff Road say they want their voices heard.
Silver Bluff Road is 2 lanes right now... with trees all along both sides of the road. Many people who live along this stretch of Silver Bluff Road have invested a lot of time and money into their yards. Some of these people -- some wanting to retire -- may soon be gone.
20 years of hard work for Harold Tuttle may soon be gone. The South Carolina Department of Transportation wants to widen Silver Bluff Road from 2 to 4 lanes between Richardson Lake Road and Indian Creek Trail. Then, add a median with openings at all intersections.
"That would open up a 5 lane road to my backyard," says Harold.
With traffic increasing, the state wants to improve the flow of cars on the road. But people who live near Silver Bluff Road don't think traffic is bad.
"Silver Bluff Road is at 50 percent capacity right now. And the Parkway is at over 90 percent. Where do you think the money needs to go?" says Harold.
A traffic study from the September 24th Aiken City Council Meeting shows by 2019 the daily traffic volume on Silver Bluff Road would increase by about 8,500 cars a day. Still, some of Harold's neighbors don't want 4 lanes.
"Personally, I think it's a screwing. They are doing it for a benefit of a few and at the expense of many," says Brian Cherner who lives along Silver Bluff Road.
That expense about 80 thousand dollars for Brian. He's been told any house affected by this project would only get the tax assessment for the house. Not, the market value. The city approved building The Village and Woodside Plantation, which is along the planned construction route. There, townhouse and businesses -- among other things -- will be built.
"It's costing me more to have more business.. what good is that?" says Brian.
Simply put, he can't see the state spending more money for new lanes on Silver Bluff Road.
"Or put in a beautiful median.. who needs that?"
Both Brian and Harold are in favor of adding turning lanes to help the traffic, but not the 4 lanes as planned.
You can send comments to the South Carolina DOT until October 27th.