This is the issue: the bypass is still on many people’s
minds even though it hasn’t resurfaced as an issue for DOT. That’s understandable since either of the
proposed routes will drastically effect the lives of the residents along those
There are two important facts to have in order to temper our
anxiety over the bypass. The first is that this is approximately a $186 million
dollar project, so until the economy turns around, I don’t think this is going
to happen anytime time soon. This also means that by the time (if the time ever
comes) the project comes back around so much growth will have occurred that
it’s rather unlikely either of the two proposed routes will be feasible
anymore. After all, the Easton Complex has already been built on the north side
of town. It’s probable that growth will spring up around it. Of course, Nations
Park, which will be finished around December 2011, is on the South side of town
and directly in the path of the southern route. It is also probable that growth
will spring up around it. So, if this project comes back up, I don’t really see
a way around starting it over from scratch.
If that happens, and I’m still in office, I promise to do a much better
job of letting people know about it so that they have an opportunity to voice
their concerns and play a part in developing the new routes.
The second fact about the bypass is that, from a business
perspective at least, its importance was really centered on the concurrency
problem with 26. Now, I’m not going to pretend to understand the formulas DOT
uses to come up with this stuff. Basically, in layman’s terms, DOT had
determined that 26 had too much traffic on it, and so, if any new business
wanted to come into Newberry, it had to pay an enormous tax. This is what
killed any real growth in Newberry for the past few years and made it
tremendously difficult to create many jobs. Through good planning, management,
hard work, and long hours of argument, the City was able to finally fix the
concurrency issue. This, perhaps even more than the $186 million, will keep
this project from coming back up anytime soon.
In fact, it’s difficult to find anyone who has much information on this
or has this on their radar. From the government’s perspective, this seems to
have died for the time being.
In short, those two points seem to be the most pertinent,
and I think, at the very least, they suggest that we have some time before we
are going to have to deal with this, if indeed we ever end up dealing with
this. I’ve included the maps of the two routes that were proposed, but again,
I’m doubtful that either of those will still work by the time we start working
on this again. If I get any new information, I will post it immediately here
and on my Facebook page. I know that this is an extremely emotional issue for
many residents, myself included, and I know that this probably isn’t as
informative as all of us would have hoped for. All I can say is that I will
continue to seek any updates and pass them along as they I get them, and
hopefully, when the time comes, if the time comes, we will be able to find a
solution that has the least negative impact on our community. As always, leave
your comments and questions below!
To get the best understanding of these alternative routes view them in numerical order.