County leaders talk road funding and learn about Greenlink’s expansion plans

Published: Nov. 14, 2023 at 10:35 PM EST
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GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - This week, in a committee meeting, Greenville County leaders learned they need $2 billion to repair roads, that’s according to county staff. They are still in the brainstorming phase of finding solutions. But, every little option helps, possibly even working to get less cars on the road as leaders heard Tuesday night.

“You need to be creative in ways to deal with this oncoming population tsunami,” said Greenville Connects Executive Director, Erin Predmore, during the public comment session.

It’s a fact that Greenville County has some of the worst roads in the state. While the idea of a penny tax is still floating around, Councilman Steve Shaw suggested getting developers involved.

“I’m not sure exactly how we do it, but I do feel like it would be beneficial for us to require or ask for the other stakeholders—businesses that develop in Greenville County to share in the burden just like the taxpayers do,” said Councilman Benton Blount.

Greenlink bus advocates offered another solution, saying buses are the cure to congestion. Which means less cars wearing out roads.

“Think about all the resources you have available, we have a safe, clean, affordable, reliable, and award-winning transit system here in Greenville County that just needs some more investment to be the thing that we need to solve people’s problems,” said Predemore.

Greenlink’s director told the council they plan to add 15 new routes over the next couple of years. With the additions, routes will connect to about 73 percent of jobs in the county.

“It’s definitely a benefit if you can get it going, if you can get people to support it, and just get people to realize that it’s probably cleaner than their own car, and they can get to where they need to go,” said Blount.

Many county leaders say fixing roads won’t be a one step solution, it’ll take many ideas and partners coming together. They’re working on a list of high priority projects.