Widening of Hwy 76 in full swing in Flo. County

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - Orange barrels are lining a major Florence County road, and you're going to be driving through them for the next two years.

When this construction wraps up along Highway 76, near Timmonsville, the hope is that there will be less congestion and more industrial interest in the area.

One of the many property owners along Hwy. 76, who lost property because of the road widening, said the project is bitter sweet, because the road needed improvements. She said she was fairly compensated, but the home she once knew has been changed forever.

"We had a lot of privacy and also it was safe ... you know, the trees kept the kids in the yard," said Melanie Davis.

Throughout the years, Davis allowed her kids and younger family members to play in the front yard.

"And the red tips kept them from the road, actually," said Davis.

Her front yard is still same place as usual, but now it's just a little different.

"The trucks and the different equipment going back and forth it's just scary … and we have three adults out here today because we are so afraid that one kids could run out," said Davis.

Davis is talking about the four-mile stretch along Hwy. 76 being cleared to make room for three additional lanes , which will make the road a five-lane highway.

This is a project the taxpayers of Florence County voted for during the first Penny Sales Tax Referendum, more than seven years ago.

Davis said even though she now has to keep an even closer eye on the young ones, Hwy. 76 was in dire need of repair.

"Well it's just so busy from morning to night; absolutely it needs to be widened," said Davis.

If you're heading this way, you can expect to see trees coming down on both sides of the road which is now lit with orange cones and dotted with back hoes.

Palmetto Brush Control is one of the companies working this project which was originally estimated to cost $31.6 million.

Recently, county leaders said this project looks like it will come in under budget.

"I understand it needs to be done … I just hate that we had to lose the red tips and the privacy and the safety the yard," said Davis.

Next, electrical poles here will have to be moved back, before paving and construction begins.

At that point, a lane may have to be closed for drivers' safety.

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