Pedestrian improvements on tap near SC State campus
ORANGEBURG, S.C. (AP) — Upgrades are in the works for a pedestrian and bicyclist corridor near the entrance of South Carolina State University.
During a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday, U.S. Rep. James E. Clyburn, SC State President Alexander Conyers and others noted the planned infrastructure improvements will include rehabilitated sidewalks, stamped crosswalks, landscaped and fenced medians, retrofitted stairs to the SC State pedestrian overpass and more, The Times and Democrat reported.
Approximately $12 million is being invested into the project-- $8.2 million in federal dollars, about $2 million from the Lower Savannah Council of Governments and $1.3 million from Orangeburg County.
Construction should begin sometime this summer and be completed in the fourth quarter of 2023, said SC State alumni Alex Bennett, who will serve as project engineer. He expects it to take about 18 months.
Clyburn was instrumental in getting federal funding earmarked for the project, which is near a pedestrian bridge named after his wife, Dr. Emily England Clyburn.
“This is a project that is very well needed, and the money has just been sitting there for over 20 years,” Clyburn said. “It can be used for this purpose, and it fit very neatly into the Transportation Department’s goals for the entire region.
“It started with the pedestrian overpass. I expect by this time next year, the stuff at the Railroad Corner will be up and going. That’s what happens, it takes some time to do the planning, but once it breaks, things seem to fall into place.”
Leland Colvin, South Carolina Department of Transportation Deputy Secretary for Engineering, said the project would not be nearing fruition “without the funding secured at the federal level that accounts for over 80% of the total project funding”
“To improve this entire area is something that needs to be done,” Clyburn said. “It will change the attitude of the students who come here every day. I know how uplifting it is to me personally to have the ambiance of a place looking right.”
The congressman said the project will promote safety for pedestrian and bike traffic, and provide a separation between them and the roadway traffic.
Conyers said the project will “expand our ability to engage more students in healthier lifestyles. These are exciting times here at Orangeburg and I’m so proud to be a part of it.”