Drainage problems, cost delay sidewalk project

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Powdersville schools area

By Stan Welch – Unexpected drainage problems have delayed a sidewalk construction project in the vicinity of the three Powdersville schools. The project, which would install just under a half mile (2500 linear feet) of ADA compliant sidewalks in the Ragsdale and Hood Roads area, ran off the rails, at least temporarily; when major drainage issues caused SCDOT to raise their estimated cost from $250,000 to $650,000

School District One had set aside fifty thousand dollars for its matching funds, but the new estimates killed the momentum. A smaller, separate project along Highway 81 has been completed. The Ragsdale project is on hold while funding possibilities are explored. The school district is currently unable to assume the additional amount of the matching funds.

The application submitted for the project indicates that one hundred seven homes are located in the adjacent housing developments. The project is designed to provide safe pedestrian travel to and from the three schools. An amended application will be submitted in the coming months, as funding questions are resolved.

Phases 2 and 3 will eventually provide pedestrian travel to the Dolly Cooper Park, according to Anderson County deputy administrator Holt Hopkins. That would facilitate the location of practice facilities for the high school at the park. Hopkins explained that both those projects are necessarily vague in terms of the time line for their construction.

He added that current plans call for the sidewalks to follow surface roads, but mentioned the possibility of an alternative approach, such as a hiking trail through the woods. A river walk to the existing kayak launch at Dolly Cooper Park might even be a possibility. Hopkins said such considerations would arise when those funding decisions are made.