Council shifts Penny Tax priorities

BLYTHEWOOD – The Blythewood Town Council is hoping to reprioritize some road improvement projects set for development in the near future under Richland County’s Penny Sales Tax program.

During the Dec. 18 council meeting, Mayor J. Michael Ross opened a discussion on the Penny Tax-funded road projects, which included a debated traffic circle proposed on Blythewood Road adjacent to the entrance of Cobblestone Park.

Specifically, council discussed reprioritizing the current first four of the Blythewood Penny Tax projects:

  • the traffic circle and widening of Blythewood Road on west side of I-77
  • Widening of Blythewood Road on east side of I-77
  • Improvements on McNulty Road
  • Extending Creech Road to Main Street (parallel to Blythewood Road)

Ross suggested moving McNulty Road (3) up to the second slot, moving the Creech Road extension  (4) up to the third slot, and moving the widening of the east side of Blythewood Road (2) back to the fourth slot.

Council is expected to vote by resolution at the January meeting to confirm these changes.

The Creech Road Extension would begin at the cul de sac on the end of Creech Road near the Holiday Inn Express and run parallel to Blythewood Road, tying in to Main Street (Hwy. 21) somewhere yet to be determined between St. Mark’s Church and Blythewood High School.

“We (the council) believe that if we could get a Creech Road extension that would empty onto Hwy. 21, that would relieve a lot of the traffic stress and problems we are having in that area,” Ross stated.

Council member Malcolm Gordge said the prioritized list discussion had come up at the last council retreat, with the decision to table the item until council could meet with one of the engineers on the projects. That meeting, Gordge said, might happen as early as the Thursday after the Council meeting. Gordge said the meeting would allow the council to review traffic studies and have an updated discussion to see where SCDOT is and make them aware of the council’s proposed changes to the list.