Hitchcock Parkway improvement completion delayed again

·2 min read

May 5—The South Carolina Department of Transportation has delayed the expected completion date of a $14 million Aiken County project for the second time.

Kelly Moore, public engagement director for the South Carolina Department of Transportation, said the expected completion date of the Hitchcock Parkway project was late August.

The project includes resurfacing — adding a new layer of asphalt atop the old layers — from Silver Bluff Road to the Jefferson Davis Highway (US Route 1/78) and the addition of a shared use path which is a a bike path that can used by walkers, skaters and people in wheelchairs.

Also included are improvements to five intersections: Augusta Road (SC Hwy 421), Dibble Road, Huntsman Drive, Hickory Ridge Road/Oriole Street and Silver Bluff Road/Pine Log Road.

Moore added the project also includes drainage infrastructure upgrades and wider shoulders.

The project began in spring 2021 with an expected completion date of Nov. 30, 2022. In November, an SCDOT spokesman told the Aiken Standard project completion date had been moved to April 1.

Moore said the delays have been the result of an underperforming contractor that was removed from the project in accordance with federal requirements.

S.C. Sen. Tom Young, R-Aiken, said in a recent newsletter he and the rest of the county delegation would continue to push SCDOT and Reeves Construction, the prime contractor, on the project because of the danger and inconvenience motorists and residents face because of the work.

He sent a letter to Leland Colvin, deputy state transportation secretary for engineering, Feb. 27 asking for a status update on the project.

Colvin said Elite Concrete Contracting Inc., a disadvantaged business enterprise, had been released from the job in a March 13 emailed letter responding to Young's letter.

Colvin said Elite Concrete Contracting was performing all the drainage work on the project. He added following the federal requirements to remove Elite Concrete Contracting would delay the completion date approximately 120 days to July 30.

He said SCDOT was still coordinating with Carolina Gas for the relocation of a water service line near Dibble Road but added he believed they had reached a path forward on the issue.

Young said in his newsletter residents of Aiken, particularly south Aiken, are familiar with utility relocations being an issue. He said utility relocations delayed completion of Silver Bluff Road improvements by several months.

He added utility relocations are a statewide issue and that he had sent a letter to Transportation Secretary Christy Hall about how to improve utility relocations.