Widening project targets South Cashua Dr. - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Widening project targets South Cashua Dr.

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South Cashua Drive at South Parker Drive (Source: SCDOT) South Cashua Drive at South Parker Drive (Source: SCDOT)

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - A major widening project is proposed in Florence to help alleviate traffic congestion along South Cashua Drive and to accommodate future transportation needs.

Jimmy Collins drives up and down Cashua Drive everyday to get to work.
He says he's tired of dealing with the traffic and wants to see South Cashua Drive widened. 

"It'll be more accessible for cars," Collins explained. "Instead of having one lane, they'll have two lanes. It'll make traffic better. Right now, it's horrible."

According to the South Carolina Department of Transportation data, there were 225 accidents from 2007 to 2010; 37 of those accidents involved injuries.

"This will of course significantly improve the traffic flow which has become difficult on Cashua and will improve commerce along that corridor," said Mayor Stephen Wukela. "I think it's a very important project."

The SCDOT held a public hearing Tuesday in Florence concerning preliminary plans for the proposed widening of South Cashua Drive. The 5 p.m. hearing was at Delmae Heights Elementary School, 1211 South Cashua Drive, Florence.

The SCDOT says the project will cost about 12.2 million dollars.

Community members had the opportunity to review and discuss the proposed widening projects with representatives from the SCDOT.

As it stands, the proposed plan would widen South Cashua Drive from two lanes to five lanes from Second Loop Road to Celebration Boulevard. The project also proposes to widen the section from Knollwood Road to Westchester Road from two to three lanes, adding a center turn lane.

The project would require the city to purchase 6.2 acres of land, some of which could be from homeowners.

Larry Younginer owns property along Cashua Drive. He doesn't agree with the city buying people's land.

"You're taking up a lot of land from people further down from me. I got land in the front but yet people's houses are right on the road. I don't see how a middle lane or any of that would solve the problem," argues Younginer.

Sidewalks are proposed along both sides of the project through the entire length of the corridor. Another reason for the hearing was to gather information from the public or any organization on historic or cultural resources in the area.

After SCDOT's presentation of the widening project, neighbors at the meeting were able to make formal, verbal comments regarding the proposal. Anyone who wanted to speak at the meeting must have signed up between 5 p.m. and 5:55 p.m. when entering the hearing.

A written response will be provided for all written comments, which will be accepted until Oct. 24, 2012.

Related maps and or drawings, environmental assessment and other pertinent data can be viewed on SCDOT's website.

Copyright 2012 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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