FLORENCE COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Various major roads in Florence County will remain cone zones for the next year and a half as the South Carolina Department of Transportation completes road widening projects, and area business owners said they're ready for it to be over.
On TV Road between Wilson Road and I-95, construction crews are still in the process of turning the two-lane road into a five-lane section, which will have two lanes going in each direction, and one turn lane down the middle. Right now, crews are focusing on bridge work and storm drain installation, according to SCDOT.
The project is a quarter of the way complete, but the owner of Hypo Motor Sports, Marc Belk, said he's already seen a dip in customers due to the construction. "I'd say it's probably about 60 percent off. That much," Belk said.
However, down the road at Black Jack Harley-Davidson, the noise and dust from construction are a nuisance, but business has picked up, the owner said. "We've actually sold a couple motorcycles to people that were working on the project out there," said Matt Flintrop, owner of Black Jack Harley-Davidson.
Similar work is going on at U-S 76 near Timmonsville for a nearly four-mile stretch where construction workers are beginning to build a concrete bridge over Lake Swamp.
The owner of David Truluck's Fish and BBQ almost thought he'd have to relocate his busy restaurant to make way for a wider road. "When I first found out, I was pretty worried because I was scared it was going to take some of my property, but that didn't happen luckily," David Truluck said.
SCDOT is heading up these widening jobs, which are part of the Florence County Forward Project. The penny tax voters approved back in 2006 is being used to fund the projects.
TV Road, US-76 and US-378 are projected to be finished by fall 2016. Road widening at SC-51 will start this summer.