UPDATE| Aiken paying for utility relocation on Silver Bluff

UPDATE| Aiken paying for utility relocation on Silver Bluff

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Monday, Sept. 12, 2016 News 12 NBC 26 at 6 O’Clock

AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) — Road work ahead, well not at the moment.

“That I don’t quite understand,” Mary Ann Joseph said, who lives off of Silver Bluff Road.

People living along Silver Bluff saw construction start to widen the road and help with all the traffic. That’s until a nearly million dollar miscommunication happened about the city moving utility lines.

“These plans have been on the book for how many years,” Joseph said, “I mean we’ve talking about this for years at meetings and everything about it, I can’t believe they didn’t know they were responsible for that.”

The error is not only costly though, as the hiccup has pushed back the completion time to Fall 2017. Engineering Director George Grinton says the city needed to approve the work quickly.

“This is a fairly tight completion schedule because we wanted to move the process along as much as possible to minimize any delays to completion of the road project,” Grinton said.

The cost did come on the cheaper side at 855 thousand dollars. But Councilmembers, like Lessie Price, know it’s already a major setback.

“With this work that is expected to be done on Silver Bluff,” Price said, “It is going to cause some major inconvenience with those power lines being removed in addition to traffic flow because we have quite a number of residents living out there.”

While the city approved the work, the funding still needs another vote. Grinton hopes moving the utilities can start the first week of October.

Thursday, July 14, 2016 News 12 NBC 26 at 6 O’Clock

AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) — Gerald Jackson can say he enjoys the traffic on Silver Bluff Road, but widening the road is a must.

“Regardless of whether they have the money or not it’s something that needs to be done, but I’m glad to see them at least start,” Gerald Jackson said, who lives off Silver Bluff Road.

And he hit it on the money, the City of Aiken does not have enough. Director of Utilities George Grinton says the city is looking for one million dollars after a miscommunication with SCDOT.

“It was realized that the original drawings didn’t really locate exactly where the utilities are in the ground,” City of Aiken Utilities Director George Grinton said.

Now the Silver Bluff project is put on hold until the city can find money and move utilities. But this could have an affect on other key projects like York Street bridge, University Parkway and Dougherty Road if problems are not found sooner.

“There’s going to be some conflicts that just aren’t avoidable if you’re going to do the project and that’s completely understood,” Grinton said.

Down the road Grinton says communication needs to better to avoid another million dollar slip up.

“What we and the SCDOT need to do is much sooner in the process at the scoping of the project, recognizing where a lot of potential utilities could be,” Grinton said.

Silver Bluff was supposed to finish next summer, but with crews on hold people will have to be patient. Meanwhile, Grinton says future projects like York Street bridge will not be as costly.

“It’s not going to be anywhere near a million dollars, I can assure you that,” Grinton said.

Aiken City Council will meet on August 8th to decide where the million dollars will come from. SCDOT has not set a new deadline for the project yet.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

AIKEN, S.C.(WRDW/WAGT) – The city of Aiken has concerns over funding utilities for a state road project.

Councilman Dick Dewar tells us that the city is required to deal with utilities for the project on Silver Bluff Road, and the city didn’t find this out until late. Now, concerns are being raised on how to fund it.

Moving the 10 utility points would cost the city nearly a million, each one of those points could cost anywhere from $25,000 to $119,000.

The decision is expected to be made at the August 8 council meeting on whether to get that money on a loan or take the money out of reserves, neither of which the city says are great options for them.

Concerns are also being raised on utility costs on future road projects including upcoming bridge construction projects, as well as the road widening of University Parkway and Dougherty Road.

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Source: News