Martin Road projects receive some interest from community

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During recent information meeting

Anderson County hosted a Public Information Meeting on Thursday, February 11th at Piercetown Fire Department for the upcoming detour and temporary closure of Martin Road, in compliance with the project NEPA document approval. According to Anderson County Governmental Affairs/Special Projects Director Steve Newton, mailings were sent to 100 residents and businesses in the area on January 16. A Public Notice was sent out on Jan. 26, and newspaper posting of the notice began on then. Various politicians, school district officials, emergency response officials, SCDOT officials, County officials and project participants were notified of the meeting via e-mail.

The department receive 10 phone calls for information prior to the meeting. Nineteen residents attended the drop-in format. No minority residents attended. No visibly handicapped persons attended. Most attendees were senior citizens, one older lady with a cane sat and chatted.

Nine local officials attended. County officials included Judy Shelato and Ron Latimer, who were there throughout; Steve Newton, Burriss Nelson and Councilman Tom Allen attended most of the meeting. Clay Richter (RCE), Mike McKenzie (ARCE), Chris Rasco (Powdersville Water District) and Steve Sease (S&S Construction, Inc.) attended most of the meeting.

A project handout with detour map on the back was made available. Comment forms were available, with mail back address option. A copy of the approved NEPA documents and a paper plan set were available for examination. Construction photos were displayed. Colorized plan sheets were mounted as the main display.

“Most folks were just interested in what was being built,” Newton said. “One gentlemen wasn’t pleased with the changes in the area in general.”

Two road projects in the area are related to Project Machine, which involves the relocation and expansion of TechTronic Industries (TTI), which manufactures a variety of product lines, including Milwaukee, Homelite and Ryobi power tools, and Oreck, Hoover and Dirt Devil vacuum cleaners.

The road projects will result in Martin Road being widened to three lanes and relocated to intersect with the new Ryobi Drive, which will begin at Highway 81 with three lanes and extend for 3840 feet to the TTI site. Orange Way will begin at Martin Road and proceed as a four lane divided road to the TTI property, a distance of 2600 feet. Orange Way has been described as a lighted boulevard with landscaped medians.

The two projects were awarded to S&S Construction of Anderson in December. The winning bid was just under $5.2 million dollars. State and federal funding has been obtained. Beginning March 21st, Martin Road will be closed to all but local residences, and construction and delivery vehicles between Highway 81 and Shackleburg Road,

TTI, which employs more than twenty thousand people worldwide, and does more than $5 billion in annual sales, was founded in 1985, and located in Anderson in 2000. But the company’s history in Anderson goes all the way back to 1933, when Singer Sewing Machines, which was later absorbed by Ryobi, first located here.

The company currently employs fourteen hundred people in the county, and will increase that number by at least two hundred more when the new facility is finished. The planned facility is intended as a showcase facility, which will include one point four million square feet. The company’s research and development wing will also be located at the new facility, which is slated for completion sometime this summer.