Crews Race to Beat Clock on Rimer Pond Road

With time running out before heavy school traffic begins to flow, crews make haste on Rimer Pond Road. (Photo/Barbara Ball)

BLYTHEWOOD – The deadline is looming for construction crews on Rimer Pond Road to finish straightening and widening the road’s curve and have it paved and ready to go by Aug. 31. With schools in Richland District 2 starting on Wednesday, Aug. 20, and the Rimer Pond Road detour still in place, traffic along Langford Road, Highway 21 and Blythewood Road is expected to be backed up during heavy traffic hours. The S.C. Department of Transportation (SCDOT) closed Rimer Pond Road to thru traffic on April 14.

Jason Fulmer, Project Manager for the construction, told The Voice last week that he thinks the work will be finished and paved on time.

“To accommodate moving the road over as much as 50 feet from center line in some places, we had to move utility lines, cable lines, gas and sewer lines. We also installed storm water pipes, but there are no water lines in that area,” Fulmer said. “I think everything is looking good to open the road on time.”

The curve that wraps around Felix Rimer’s Pond has long been a high accident area and is being re-aligned for safer travel starting between the entrance to Eagles Glen and Perfecting Faith Church and continuing to a point near where the road intersects with Adams Road, according to Fulmer.

Besides moving the road in some areas, Fulmer said the crews are also widening it about 2 feet on each side and paving the shoulders for safety. He said the road will still be two lanes, but will have guardrails and rumble strips installed at the low point in the curve where there are a couple of creeks alongside the road.

When a statistical comparison was made a few years ago with other one-half mile sections of roads around the state with high crash incidents, the curve on Rimer Pond Road easily met the qualifications for improvement – 20 crashes in four years with 12 of those being injury crashes, according to Joey Riddle, Safety Program Engineer for SCDOT. But during construction, traffic has been detoured though downtown Blythewood causing an increase in traffic congestion in downtown Blythewood and on main roads leading into and out of the town, especially at times when school traffic on Langford and Rimer Pond roads is heavy.

Libby Roof, Executive Director of Communications for Richland School District 2, told The Voice that the District has notified parents in the area about the detour and advised them to take it into consideration when dropping off or picking up their children.

“We have posted updated bus schedules on our District website and some may be different than last year,” Roof said, “so parents need to check those.”

She also reminded parents that traffic is always worse the first couple of days of the new school year and could be expected to be very congested with the detour still in place.