Florence County roads continue to improve - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Florence County roads continue to improve

The TV Road widening project in Florence County continues. (Source: Audrey Biesk) The TV Road widening project in Florence County continues. (Source: Audrey Biesk)

FLORENCE COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - A total of $650 million of taxpayer money is going toward improving roads throughout Florence County.

This is with the help of the Capital Project Sales Tax One and Two. A major part of the taxpayer money is helping to fund the Florence County Forward Project, which consists of six road widening and improvement projects throughout the county.

The county stretches 805 square miles and Florence County Administrator Rusty Smith said it is doing its part to improve roads within the city of Florence all the way to the start of Kingsburg.

Smith said, in addition, 284 road improvements have been completed and the last road project will be finished in summer 2021. He added it's taken a long time because of lack of maintenance.

"Especially on a lot of the state roads, and we went ahead and did it through the capital project sales tax," Smith said. "We also have some county roads, we had dirt roads that have been paved now and numerous other projects within the county."

The one cent sales tax referendum was passed back in 2006. One year later, an intergovernmental agreement between Florence County, the South Carolina Department of Transportation and the South Carolina Transportation Infrastructure began to create the Florence County Forward Project. It was revised one year ago.

“It’s very beneficial to the taxpayers and it's quite a diversification of that tax pace so that the sales tax, which is paid in part by people who come into the county, is helping pay for the roads and infrastructure and EMS and public safety and the sheriff’s department in Florence County," Smith said.

The goal is to enhance the pathways heading into the county, according to Smith.

"U.S. 76 will be a four lane from Florence to Timmonsville, U.S. 378 from Lake City to Kingsburg, TV Road has been four lanes out to the interstate and 51 will also be four lanes all the way back to 378," Smith said.

He added that is also in addition to the U.S. 301 bypass extension on Alligator Road. The construction work ranges from 2.5 to 24 miles long.

Smith explained the drainage issues have gotten much worse recently and he is hoping the road improvements will address that.

“You can go just about any place in the county and find a drainage issue and that is something we are trying to address," Smith said. "But it’s very expensive, but hopefully this is the only mechanisms we have in place that can accomplish that.”

Capital Project Sales Taxes One and Two were voted on separately by the taxpayers and voters of Florence County. One is not complete yet, and Two should be complete in four years.

The two roads finished in the Florence County Forward Project are Pine Needles Road and U.S. 76. Click here for a full list to every single capital sales tax project completed or ongoing, and the details of each.

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