Bishopville Truck Route FAQ

How much traffic exists on US 15/ N. Main Street?
Currently 11,000 vehicles travel daily on US 15/ N. Main Street on average.

What are the traffic forecasts for the next 10 years? What are the anticipated impacts of the increase in traffic?
In 2045 it is anticipated that approximately 16,000 vehicles will travel daily along US 15 / N. Main Street. Approximately 13% of these vehicles, or 2000 vehicles a day, are expected to be trucks.

What is the accident rate involving truck traffic on US 15/ N. Main Street?
The accident data for the US 15/ N. Main Street corridor will be evaluated as part of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). This data will be available on the project website once it has been obtained and evaluated.

What is the current speed limit on Main Street?
The current speed limit is 25 miles per hour.

Who is the SLRCOG?
Santee-Lynches Regional Council of Governments (SLRCOG) is the regional planning district that serves the counties and cities of Clarendon, Kershaw, Lee, and Sumter counties. SLRCOG provides a diverse array of services including transportation planning. SLRCOG is governed by a Board of Directors composed of 29 representatives from member municipal and county governments and members of the region's state legislative delegations that set the annual work program and budget for the SLRCOG. For more information, please refer to the SLRCOG website.

Why is this project moving forward after it was voted against, and why is it at the top of the Santee Lynches Regional Council of Government (SLRCOG) priority list for projects?
Under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), no unit of government has control over the final decision for a project during an Environmental Assessment or Environmental Impact Statement Process. Both the City of Bishopville and Lee County issued resolutions on the Preferred Alternative during the previous Environmental Assessment, with Lee County's resolution in support and the City of Bishopville's resolution against. Neither jurisdiction can end the environmental review prior to completion of the study process..

The proposed project is on the SLRCOG Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), which means that, at the time the proposed project was identified and formal study initiated, it was the highest priority for the region. The SLRCOG Board of Directors decided to support completion of the study process in order to determine the appropriate resolution to the proposed project under NEPA.

Why is the project necessary?
Nearly 700 trucks pass through downtown Bishopville every day. US 15 / N. Main Street through downtown Bishopville consists of only two (12') travel lanes and on-street parking, elements not conducive to truck travel.

How would the Proposed Bishopville Truck Route support economic development?
The current environmental impact study will include an Economic Assessment Analysis to determine the potential economic benefits the to the Bishopville area from the proposed project.

How much will the Proposed Bishopville Truck Route cost?
The project costs will be estimated when as preliminary alternatives are developed, and will be included as part of the EIS. Currently the State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) lists the funding amount for each phase of the project if a build scenario is selected. $500,000 for Right-of-way acquisition and $15,600,000 for construction.

How would the Proposed Bishopville Truck Route be funded?
A mix of federal, state and local funding sources will be used for the construction of this project.

If the Proposed Bishopville Truck Route is not moved forward, what happens to the funds?
If the No-Build Alternative is selected in the Record of Decision (ROD), any remaining funds will be reallocated to other projects within the Santee-Lynches transportation planning district (rural portions of Kershaw and Sumter Counties and entirety of Lee and Clarendon Counties.

What is the timeline and/or schedule of the Proposed Bishopville Truck Route?
A detailed project schedule is being developed and will be posted to the website in the Summer of 2017. The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), which is being prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), is estimated to take 2½ to 3 years to complete. A Record of Decision (ROD) will be issued at the end of the NEPA process, either selecting a Build Alternative or the No-build Alternative.

What stage is the Proposed Bishopville Truck Route project currently in?
The project has restarted and is currently in the scoping process, where input is sought from the public, local government, and federal and state resource and regulatory agencies. A scoping meeting will be held for the public to attend in May/June 2017. This will be advertised on the website, in the Lee County Observer, as well as by signage posted on US 15/Main Street in Bishopville.

What is the NEPA process?
NEPA stands for the National Environmental Policy Act, which is a federal law that ensures that federal agencies thoroughly evaluate alternatives and impacts for a project as well as gather input from the public and federal and state agencies on the project.

A previous environmental study, an Environmental Assessment, was conducted for the project. Due to the significant amount of public controversy, the Federal Highway Administration decided that an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) needed to be prepared.

This is the start of the EIS. No alternatives have been developed at this time, but they will be developed as project scoping concludes and the input from the agencies and public are evaluated.

When can I participate in the NEPA process?
You will have numerous opportunities to participate in the project.

Public scoping and public information meetings will be held for the project. Each meeting will be informal where you can interact with the Project Team on a one-on-one or small group discussion. Each meeting will have comment periods where you can submit comments either at the meetings, by mail, or email.

The public hearing will occur after the Draft Environmental Impact Statement is available for review. At the hearing, the public will have the opportunity to make comments formally during the meeting. In addition, the public hearing will also have a comment period where you can submit comments either at the hearing, by mail, or by email.

The project website has a form where you can submit comments for the Project Team.

You may contact the SCDOT Project Manager.

All comments will be reviewed and responses will be sent by SCDOT.

What public involvement and outreach has been conducted?
As part of the previous Environmental Assessment, public meetings and hearings were held to allow the public to comment and share their opinions on the project.

Additional public involvement activities will be conducted as the Environmental Impact Statement is prepared, including informal meetings and formal hearings. In addition, the project website will be updated on a regular basis, and a newsletter will be issued as milestones are reached in the project development process.

Has the police, fire, and EMS been notified of this proposed project?
Police, fire, and EMS as well as local school districts will be involved with the development of the project and be able to provide input on the project and alternatives.

Will the Proposed Bishopville Truck Route require the relocation of any residents or businesses?
Relocations are unknown at this point. Every effort will be made to minimize to the extent possible all impacts, including relocations, associated with this project.

Can the medians be removed on Main Street?
Alternatives have not been developed at this time. Reasonable and feasible alternatives that could meet the purpose and need for the project will be evaluated in the Environmental Impact Statement.

Was the traffic study that is going to be used for the EIS influenced by the I-20 bridge projects?
No, the traffic study for this project was not impacted by the I-20 bridge projects. The traffic study that is going to be used for the EIS was conducted in September and October of 2015. The only bridge lane closures on the I-20 bridge projects were from May 2016 to November 2016.

When and why was Cousar Street (S-111) next to the Coca-Cola plant and Robert E. Lee Academy given to the County and closed to traffic? Also what influence does this have on trucks going through downtown since it was closed?
Lee County requested the closure of Cousar Street next to the Coca-Cola plant to allow for Coca-Cola to expand. On June 18, 2009, after Lee County conducted two public hearings and did not receive any comments in opposition to requesting a 0.45-mile section of S-111 next to the Coca-Cola plant and proposed closing the road, SCDOT relinquished that portion of Cousar Street to Lee County.

SCDOT has reviewed the traffic counts on this 0.45-mile section of S-111 Cousar Street prior to the closure in 2009. The daily averages of vehicles driving through this section of roadway in 2008 were 1450 vehicles per day. The exact number of trucks that used this route prior to the closure in 2009 is unknown.