Anyone who drives through the Gold Hill Road/S.C. 160 West intersection at rush hour knows it's congested.
The Rock Hill-Fort Mill Area Transportation Study Group is working on a plan to address the problem by this time next year. The RFATS Policy Committee recently approved an application for $1.3 million to study and fix the intersection.
The application must now go through the S.C. Department of Transportation and the state highway commission for approval, according to York County Transportation Manager Allison Love.
“Hopefully, we'll have approval by next summer,” Love said. “As for a design, we won't know exactly what will be done until we get the money and talk to a traffic engineer.”
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RFATS applied for a Congestion Mitigation Air Quality grant of $1.1 million for the project and a local match of $240,000 will be required, Pennies for Progress Program Manager Phil Leazer said.
The Pennies program funds road projects with a portion of York County sales taxes.
Even with the RFATS support, however, the project has a long way to go.
Approvals from the Department of Transportation and the highway commission likely won't be finalized until at least April, Leazer said. Then, a traffic engineer will have to be hired to study the intersection and devise a plan to help the traffic flow. That could happen by June or July. The design phase could take another three to six months. Once a plan is in place, it could take another six or seven months to acquire rights-of-way.
The plan supported by RFATS envisions dual left-turn lanes from S.C. 160 heading toward the North Carolina line onto Gold Hill Road, and dual left-turn lanes from Gold Hill Road toward Tega Cay onto S.C. 160. It also includes a dedicated right-turn lane from S.C. 160 toward Fort Mill onto Gold Hill Road, and a dedicated right-turn lane on Gold Hill Road heading toward Tega Cay onto S.C.160.