FORT MILL, S.C. (CN2 NEWS) Towns like Fort Mill completing projects like the Fort Mill Bypass ahead of the curve. Now, with many projects on the horizon across the county.
A Pennies for Progress project dating back to the early 2000’s, the Fort Mill bypass, was designed to divert traffic from Fort Mill’s downtown area and prevent major congestion. it was completed in 2016.
Pennies for Progress’, Patrick Hamilton, saying, “There’s already congestion issue in the downtown area so this bypass opened that up, but it also opens new development. There’s three or four schools, just right in this area near Whites Road. There are subdivisions being developed there’s commercial that’s coming. So that’s a whole other opportunity for the town to grow.
Pennies for Progress leaders say the Fort Mill bypass, nearly 20 years in the making, will continue to see updates on into the future. Speaking with businesses in the downtown Fort Mill area, they say that they diverted traffic has been nice. They say that the downtown area has a culture of its own — that is now more accommodating to shoppers and restaurant goers.
Kimberley Cokely, with “Five O Skate Shop,” says, “It gets a lot of foot traffic down the street, it’s a great place, it’s a really great community and I love living here.”
“Olive’s Mud Puddle’s Paul Whitsett saying, “I mean it’s clearly, it’s growing at a huge clip. I mean it’s really, really exciting to be in this area right now.”
While many business leaders say they haven’t noticed a major change in cars coming through they are glad to see less big box trucks. Keith Suttles, owner of “Crossing On Main” in downtown Fort Mill, says he just recently bought the shop a few months back. He says although the bypass diverts some through traffic downtown Fort Mill is still a destination.
“People they are going to want to come down here to support restaurants and hopefully more shops that’ll open up at later times — now that things are beginning to open back up. So, I think it’s gonna be a good thing for everyone.”
Pennies for Progress’ Patrick Hamilton says there’s more work ahead, he’s says because of the county planning ahead there will be room for expansion of the bypass over the next few years.
“Fortunately when the bypass was built, the county purchased right away for five lanes at that time — so that’s a big savings from a cost and a timing standpoint. I highly anticipate the rest of the bypass at least down to Holbrook Road will be included on the Pennies for Progress five referendum,” says Hamilton.
In the video above, CN2’s Rachel Richardson is speaking with county leaders and businesses about Fort Mill’s traffic changes, over the years.