Aiken City Council approves SCDOT agreements for Hitchcock Parkway project
The Aiken City Council on Monday approved two resolutions that herald the beginning of the Hitchcock Parkway improvement project.
City Council that night approved a resolution for corridor and intersection improvements along Hitchcock Parkway — S.C. 118 — as well as a resolution for improvements along U.S. 1.
The resolutions include a waiver for construction and an agreement to move city-owned utilities should they fall in the new right of way.
The collective approval allows the state transportation department to move forward with the letting and bidding process, Aiken City Manager Stuart Bedenbaugh said Monday morning.
The Hitchcock Parkway improvement project, now years in the making, includes the construction of new turn lanes along the parkway and Dibble Road, the installation of new traffic signals, a resurfacing campaign and the creation of a pedestrian-slash-bicyclist path, according to information from SCDOT.
The project no longer involves widening the parkway.
“We ran out of money to do the multi-lane project,” City Council member Dick Dewar said Monday night. “There’s still a lot of hard feelings about that.”
“This project goes back,” Bedenbaugh said separately.
Actual construction is expected to begin in 2020 — “So still a long way off here,” Dewar said — and will take about two years to complete, according to SCDOT program manager Adam Humphries.
Bedenbaugh provided the same start date during an earlier work session.
The Hitchcock Parkway project area stretches nearly 5 miles from Jefferson Davis Highway to Silver Bluff Road. The parkway is a part of the Aiken bypass.
Humphries told the Aiken County Legislative Delegation at the end of August 2018 that right-of-way plans for the improvement project had been completed. That same month, SCDOT hosted a community meeting regarding the scheduled alterations.