3 county roads on highway priority list

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South Carolina Department of Transportation has released a priority list of 45 road improvement projects for approval from the S.C. Transportation Commission to receive safety upgrades during the first phase of its Off-Interstate Rural Road Safety Program. Three roads in northern and eastern Sumter County are included on the list.

Included in the list is almost 18 miles of U.S. 76 in Richland and Sumter counties. In Sumter County, the upgrades would be from the Wateree River to the intersection with S.C. 441. In Richland County, the upgrade project would include from the Wateree River to near Motley Road. The Richland County portion of the project is listed as the department's No. 1 priority because of the total number of fatal and serious injury crashes, run-off road crashes and average daily traffic.

More than 14 miles of U.S. 521 in Sumter and Kershaw counties are listed as a priority, from just south of S.C. 441 to Boykin Road in Kershaw County. Also on the list is nearly 8 miles of U.S. 15 in Sumter County, north of Sumter from Jefferson Road to the Lee County line.

Improvement in each project could include: rumble strips, raised pavement markers, reflective signs, guardrails and pavement treatment, wider shoulders, paved shoulders, wider clear zones and ditch relocation, depending on the needs of each individual project.

According to materials released by the SCDOT, rural roads account for nearly 30 percent of highway traffic fatalities and serious injuries.

For more information, visit www.scdot.org.