Hartsville, SC (News Release) – Beginning in February, the City of Hartsville will initiate three major road upgrade projects, made possible with funds from its Multi-County Business Park (MCBP) and aimed at addressing some of the City's traffic concerns as well as development goals in the growing downtown district.
The projects include a new traffic signal for the intersection of South Fifth Street and Hartsville Crossing, another traffic signal at the intersection of East Carolina Avenue and Second Street as well as new parking, sidewalk improvements and trees along South Fourth Street between East Carolina Avenue and Cargill Way.
Timelines for the projects are subject to change based on ongoing conditions, but all are planned to begin major work in early to mid-February and conclude in early to mid-May, with some partial road closures expected.
The project at South Fifth Street and Hartsville Crossing will include new traffic lights mounted on mast arms, helping motorists at one of the busiest intersections in Hartsville that currently has no light.
The effort will feature new pedestrian crossings and landscaping, including decorative fencing and landscaping along the South Fifth Street right-of-way next to the Butler Heritage Center.
The East Carolina Avenue and Second Street intersection will feature similar improvements of traffic signals on mast arms, pedestrian crossings and landscaping.
These upgrades will accommodate the growing foot traffic crossing East Carolina Avenue, spurred on by Coker College's growth south of Carolina Avenue in recent years, and intended to better connect the historic campus with the new DeLoach Center and the Village at Byerly Place.
The streetscaping on South Fourth Street, meanwhile, is meant to expand the appearance and tree cover of downtown Hartsville alongside the under-construction Hampton Inn and Suites at 203 E. Carolina Avenue.
The project will install brick pavers for sidewalks, tree grates and streetlights on both sides of South Fourth Street. It will also create 10 new street parking spaces in downtown.
Partial street closures are expected for these projects, along with an expected full closure of the affected block of South Fourth Street for a short time in April to allow for paving. The specific dates of a closure will be announced as they are decided.
The projects are being funded with revenues from the Multi-County Business Park which comprises much of Hartsville's business corridors and which ranges from Second Street to South Fourth and Fifth streets, as well as the downtown business district. The MCBP allows property tax revenues created in the district to be reinvested in infrastructure and beautification improvements in the district.
In October 2014, Darlington County Council agreed to expand Hartsville's MCBP to include the downtown business district. As a result of this, some MCBP funds will be now be used for repaving and streetscaping of the deteriorated East College Avenue in downtown Hartsville this spring, alongside some nearby areas including a public parking lot.
Additional streetscaping work in front the Mantissa Executive Suites and Spa, now under construction at 130 E. Carolina Ave., is also planned in the spring of 2015, although the timing of either of these projects has not been finalized.