Dozens show up for Hitchcock Parkway comment session

AIKEN, SC (WFXG) - "This affects me because they're going to want more of my property that's on the bypass," said Myrtie Cushman.

She is just one of dozens of people who showed up to express their opinions about a South Carolina DOT project to widen the Hitchcock Parkway corridor.

I asked Myrtie if she worries about noise coming from the road.

"Well, I already have a lot of it," she responded. "So, it's going to be increased. They'll be taking down trees of course."

Transportation officials were in attendance at the public comment session to hopefully ease concerns.

"We're getting a lot more balanced comments," said Kevin Gantt, with SCDOT. "We're seeing a lot of people in favor because of the recent growth."

Officials say the new plans call for a sidewalk on both sides of the expanded road, which will go from two lanes to four, and will not take up as much space as originally planned. Cushman said she understands the need for the new road, despite the noise.

"I know it's needed," she said. "They need to have four lanes. Because sometimes emergency vehicles come up behind me, and I'm scared to death, I don't know where to turn off."

The DOT said that stress should be alleviated if the plan goes through.

"We design our projects for about 20 years out, to make sure we can accommodate that growth," said Gantt. "So we look for where we need to be for those 20 years, and design for that."