Columbia County officials hope ongoing construction on Hereford Farm Road will lead to more improvements on the Evans road.
Construction began in the spring on the intersection of Hereford Farm Road and Gibbs Road, but nearly constant rains in June and July slowed the process.
The $3.8 million project includes improving the intersection by realigning it to make it “more user-friendly,” said county Engineering Services Division Director Matt Schlachter. The road will be widened to three lanes, two traffic and a turn lane, to Evans Middle School.
Sidewalks also will be built from Cox Road at Byrd Road to the intersection and along Hereford Farm Road to the school. New, “more aesthetically pleasing” signal poles and lighted street signs will be added to the intersection.
The project also included construction of a widening and new entrance on Gibbs Road at the Evans Elementary School. The Columbia County School System contributed about $250,000 to the project that will avoid having their entrance road destroyed and rebuilt when the road is widened in the future.
“We knew eventually, we’d have to do some additional work on Gibbs Road,” Schlachter said. “The bulk of the project is at the intersection.”
Schlachter said he estimates two or three more months of work before the construction is complete.
Work funded by the Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax includes improvements to Horizon South Parkway and Lewiston Road from Grovetown to Columbia Road and extending Riverwatch Parkway to meet Towne Centre Boulevard at Washington Road.
Schlachter said he’d like to see more work on Hereford Farm Road, widening it from Evans Middle School to Columbia Road.
“That’s our missing link,” Schlachter said. “We know we have a problem. We know we’re going to have a problem and we rather address it now.”
Schlachter said improving the road has come up in recent discussion about the county’s projects on the statewide Transportation Improvement Program.
Design and engineering plans haven’t yet been started because the project is only a “hope” until funding is secured.