FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - Road crews are back at work along Pine Needles Road in Florence County, following a halt in construction after the project's leading company went bankrupt.
Florence County Resident Construction Engineer James Poston said even though construction on the road was stopped between December and March, the project should be completed on time. Poston said a bridge over Interstate 95 proved the most challenging, but work never fully stopped as a new contractor worked through the elapsed time period.
Officials warn drivers will notice a difference in traffic patterns next month, when the South Carolina Department of Transportation shifts traffic to replace the old bridge.
"We have to shift traffic over the new part so that we can tear the old bridge down over [Interstate] 95 and add the rest of the five-lane section," Poston commented. "We've got to get things changed over at the Southborough and Pine Needles intersection, and we should be getting things switched over in the next couple of months."
Those who use the road on a daily basis said they can't wait for construction to be completed. Susan Deas, who owns The Cleanery on Pine Needles Road, said she's seen a decrease in business because it's hard for customers to get to her.
"They have a hard time getting in and out," she claimed. "Some customers come in here and say, 'Boy, I barely got here because I had to wait so long. It's real busy out there most of the time."
Deas said though the changes are needed, it will bring a welcomed improvement to the area.
The road project was passed in November 2007 by Florence County voters who now pay a 1 percent sales tax to fund the project. When finished, Pine Needles Road will be a five-lane road with a median center from Southborough Road to South Ebenezer Road.
The estimated cost of the project totals $10.5 million.