ORANGEBURG, SC (AP) — Improvements are underway for a pedestrian and cycling corridor near the entrance to South Carolina State University.
At a groundbreaking ceremony on Tuesday, U.S. Representative James E. Clyburn, SC State Chairman Alexander Conyers and others noted that planned infrastructure improvements will include rehabilitated sidewalks, walkways pedestrian crossings, landscaped and fenced medians, upgraded stairs to the SC State Pedestrian Overpass and more, The Times and Democrat reported.
About $12 million is being invested in the project – $8.2 million in federal dollars, about $2 million from the Lower Savannah Council of Governments, and $1.3 million from Orangeburg County.
Construction is expected to begin this summer and be completed in the fourth quarter of 2023, said SC State alumnus Alex Bennett, who will serve as the project engineer. He expects it to take about 18 months.
Clyburn was instrumental in securing federal funding earmarked for the project, which sits near a pedestrian bridge named after his wife, Dr. Emily England Clyburn.
“It’s a really needed project, and the money has been there for over 20 years,” Clyburn said. “It can be used for this purpose and fits perfectly with the objectives of the transport department for the whole region.
“It started with the pedestrian viaduct. I expect by this time next year things at the Railroad Corner will be in place. It does, it takes time to do the planning, but once that breaks things seem to fall into place.
Leland Colvin, assistant secretary for engineering for the South Carolina Department of Transportation, said the project would not be close to fruition “without the federally secured funding which represents more than 80% of the total funding for the project”.
“Improving this whole area is something that needs to be done,” Clyburn said. “It will change the attitude of students who come here every day. I know how uplifting it is for me personally to have the vibe of a place that looks good.
The congressman said the project will promote safe traffic for pedestrians and cyclists and provide separation between them and road traffic.
Conyers said the project “will expand our ability to engage more students in healthier lifestyles. These are exciting times here in Orangeburg and I’m so proud to be a part of them.