SC 93 construction to begin April 15
By Greg Oliver
CLEMSON — Work is scheduled to begin April 15 on an infrastructure project around Clemson, where utility construction is planned for the next six to seven months.
Officials said selected lanes of S.C. Highway 93 will be closed for utility construction that will last into the fall. While much of the main Clemson University campus has seen its share of new facilities built and opened in recent years, officials said the underground utility infrastructure dates back to the 1960s.
During the next several months, portions of the road will be closed in segments while electrical infrastructure and chilled water lines are upgraded for increased reliability to campus in order to serve current and future campus utility demands. While the work will inconvenience those driving in that area, Clemson University director of utility services Tony Putnam said the need and scope of the project cannot be achieved in a shorter timeframe.
“There is no realistic way to schedule this project work over the course of just the university summer break (from mid-May to early August) while maintaining a reasonable level of road use accessibility for the downtown area and businesses, university summer activities, construction project job sites and emergency vehicles,” Putnam said.
The first phase of the work will begin on S.C. Highway 93 between Cherry Road, near the president’s house, and Calhoun Drive, near Sikes Hall. At that time, the highway will be reduced from four to two lanes, with one lane for eastbound traffic and one lane for westbound traffic. Phase two, which will begin in the middle of May, will see construction close Highway 93 from Cherry Road to College Avenue, limiting access to construction and emergency vehicles and local residents who need to get to their homes along Daniel Drive.
In mid-to-late July, the final phase of the project will close the portion of Highway 93 from College Avenue to Williamson Road. During construction, three of the four lanes will be closed and one lane will accommodate westbound traffic only. Drivers traveling to and around the main campus should use Perimeter Road and avoid Highway 93 if possible.
Putnam said the plan is to complete the major part of the work during the summer, when there is less traffic, and prior to football season and the start of the fall semester. While much will depend on weather and unforeseen factors, Putnam said crews will temporarily open all lanes on football Saturdays if construction is delayed.
Traffic engineering firms were hired to measure and study peak traffic patterns around the university, including capacity of alternative detour routes.
“Certainly, there is the potential for traffic tie-ups during the high-peak morning rush hours, but the later part of the spring semester and summer pose the least amount of traffic volume in the area,” Putnam said.
Putnam added the university is also working with Clemson city officials on additional traffic signs and traffic signal adjustments to improve traffic flow. Qualified traffic flaggers will also be employed when necessary to assist with traffic and pedestrian travel in the affected area.
Updates on the project are being posted periodically by a number of departments, including facilities, https:blogs.clemson.edu/facilitites/category/construction/hwy93/; parking and transportation services, https://www.clemson.edu/campus-life/parking/; and CAT bus detour information on its Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/CATbus-53191218369/.
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