York County’s Diverging Diamond Interchange

York County’s Diverging Diamond Interchange

Over the past 10 years the population of York County, South Carolina has grown tremendously. It is an attractive place. One, it’s close to Charlotte, NC but still has that small town feel and two, the taxes are significantly lower. However, as the population increases so does the traffic. This is evident on I-77 at the North Carolina/South Carolina line.  According to The Hearld’s article, “That York Co. I77 and Gold Hill Road Interchange? Here’s When Construction May Start,” the State Transportation Department’s current traffic counts show that around 100,000 to 160,000 vehicles travel on this part of I-77 every day. The current set-up isn’t practical; therefore, in order to help the flow of traffic the South Carolina Department of Transportation has decided to build a “Diverging Diamond Interchange” at the interchange of I-77 and Gold Hill Road, otherwise known as SC 460. After working out all of the details, Boggs Contracting, Inc. was awarded the job.

But, what exactly is a Diverging Diamond Interchange? It is a diamond shaped interchange that allows two directions of traffic on the non-freeway road to cross to the opposite side on both sides of the bridge at the freeway. In other words, it allows two directions of traffic to temporarily cross to the left side of the road. This makes traffic move easily through an intersection without increasing the number of lanes and traffic signals. 

Not only is the South Carolina Department of Transportation funding the project but York County’s very own “Pennies for Progress” is as well. “Pennies for Progress” is the name of York County’s, “Capital Project Sales and Use Tax Programs.” This sales tax program was created to give York County a safer and more effective roadway system. The way it works is the county imposes a 1% tax on different types of goods and services. Every dollar raised from that 1% helps fund roadway projects in the county. According to the article “York County Voters Breathe New Life into Pennies for Progress” the program has raised close to $700 million to fix roads in the county since its creation in 1997. A part of that $700 million has helped fund the new interchange.

Construction on the interchange has already begun and the targeted completion date is June of 2021. 2021 may seem like a long time away but the wait will be worth it. When the interchange is finished people can say goodbye to stand still traffic. 

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1 Year Anniversary of the Opening of the Monroe Expressway

1 Year Anniversary of the Opening of the Monroe Expressway

History Of The Monroe Expressway

For decades residents of Union County heard stories of a large bypass being built throughout their town. Stories of a new and faster way to get to and from Charlotte, NC. But, as time went on these stories started to seem like just stories, myths. Year after year the idea and hope of such a big project taking place started to fade away. Little did they know the Monroe Bypass Constructors LLC and their partner, Boggs Contracting, Inc., were behind the scenes developing the plans of what would later become the Monroe Expressway.

Monroe Can Finally Take Back U.S. 74

N.C. Transportation Secretary, Jim Trogdon, understood why hope was lost. “This project was a long, long time in development,” he said. But finally, 30 plus years after the first acre of land was acquired, construction on the Monroe bypass began in May of 2015. Pat Kahle, the president of the Union County Chamber of Commerce said, “the elusive dream has become a reality.” Monroe can finally take back U.S. 74.

Working Day and Night To Make It Happen

Over the course of the following three years, the Monroe Bypass Constructors, Boggs Contracting and plenty of other construction companies meticulously worked day and night on the bypass. They took extra time to make sure it wasn’t just a standard road. The road names on the overpass bridges look hand-painted and the decision to use red bricks, which is North Carolina clay, to build these overpass bridges speaks to North Carolinians’ heritage. They made certain that every job was thoroughly completed and every detail was accounted for before its grand opening on November 27th, 2018. 

The Wait Was Worth It

Since its opening one year ago, hundreds of thousands of people have driven on the bypass including the Vice President of the United States. It has helped people get to places faster and ease the anxiety and emotions of being stuck in traffic. The wait was worth it.

4 years and $730 million later, people now have the choice to either sit in bumper to bumper traffic from Marshville, NC to Charlotte, NC or cut 20 minutes by bypassing 27 intersections on U.S. 74 and getting home just in time for dinner.