U.S. Group, Inc., Columbia, SC, is eight months into a project to widen a 4-mile section of S.C. 901 in York County, SC. Part of York County's “Pennies for Progress” road-building program, this $13.8-million project will create a regional bypass around Rock Hill and connect central York County directly to Interstate 77.
The S.C. 901 project has been divided into two major phases that include the following improvements and changes:
- Widen S.C. Route 901 to four lanes between Albright Road and I-77, with a center turning lane;
- Widen and improve an existing bridge and box culvert;
- Widen Saluda Street to four lanes from Heckle Boulevard to Albright Road;
- Realign Saluda Street to end at the S.C. 901/Albright Road traffic light to eliminate the hazardous fork at the end of Saluda Street;
- Create over a dozen marked left-turn lanes and two U-turn locations along the 901 project length; create two new left-turn lanes on Albright Road; and realign and create center left-turn lanes on 12 side roads along the project's length.
Work on the project began in March 2008 with clearing, storm drain installation, and installation of new telephone line innerducts.
Clearing and grading have been challenging due to the unsuitable material on site and finding borrow material to meet SCDOT specs, which is a minimum of 100 pounds per cubic foot. U.S. Group is self-performing the grading while Barfield Grading out of Fort Mill, SC, is hauling the borrow material from 11 miles away.
“One of the challenges we've had is the amount of rock, which are really boulders,” says Haskel Sexton II, Operations manager with U.S. Group. “We've had to use a Cat excavator with a hydraulic hammer attachment to get a lot of rock out of the way. We've also encountered a lot of unsuitable soil on the site that has had to be removed and replaced with borrow material.”
In all, U.S. Group will be moving 35,000 cubic yards of onsite balance material and bringing in approximately 120,000 cubic yards of borrow material.
There are two major phases on the project. Phase 1 is the gateway section of the project, which is the last mile of the project closest to Rock Hill. This section has an early completion date of July 2009.
The second phase of the project also under way involves the widening of the remainder of S.C. 901 to I-77. Currently the two new lanes on the south side of the project are under construction, as is the widening of a bridge and the extension of a box culvert. Once the lanes on the south side are completed, traffic will switch to the new construction while the existing roadway is reconstructed.
The entire project is scheduled for completion in January 2010.