Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Greenville-Pickens Traffic Relief, Esurance Coming to Greenville, Greenville West End Improvements

Traffic Relief Projects 

The Greenville-Pickens Area Transportation Study (GPATS) has two big projects designed to ease local traffic congestion-one to bypass Easley in Pickens County and another to give more access points to Woodruff Road at Miller Rd, which is in Greenville County.  The Easley project is ready to start right of way construction so that Highway 153 can be extended behind the Wal-Mart and connect with Prince of Peace and Saluda Dam roads.  That will create a parallel corridor to take some of the pressure off Hwy 123 through the center of Easley.  The Woodruff Road project creates a thoroughfare from Miller Road near Frankie’s Fun Park over I-85 that will connect to Verdae Boulevard.  Along the way it will pick up several dead end streets that spur off Woodruff Road: Woodruff Industrial Lane (by Target), Green Heron Rd (across from Cheddar’s), and Ketron Court (across from Costco).  There may also be a connection to Salter’s Road which already has a bridge going over the interstate.  The Woodruff Road project has yet to be approved, and funding is short at this time, so there is no solid time frame.  There has been a lot of development along Woodruff road lately, so this project will certainly allow motors to navigate a bustling part of Greenville.

Esurance Coming to Greenville with 450 Jobs

Insurance industry leader Esurance has announced a new sales office will open in Greenville, bringing 450 jobs to the area in 2014.  Esurance is a large, quality company or personal line coverage that was acquired by Allstate in 2011.  It has nearly doubled in size since then and now has more than 3000 employees. Inside sales positions with the company have an average annual base of $50,000 with a comprehensive benefit coverage, so these are pretty good jobs indeed.  The Greenville Area Development Corporation stated that the reason Esurance is coming to Greenville is the availability of a quality work force and class A office space. Having an appealing and diverse community such as Greenville also makes it easy to attract talent to the area.  South Carolina has added 10,600 service industry jobs since 2011, so there must me something about southern hospitality!

Greenville West End Improvements

Business owners in The West End of Greenville have been putting their heads together in an effort to increase foot traffic down toward the baseball stadium.  Many pedestrians stop at the junction of S. Main and Pendleton, not aware of what enticing new shops and services await them just a short walk farther.  The big issues are signage and additional lights, topics that the City has embraced and acted on quickly.  Trees have been trimmed so that the existing lights emit more light that will enhance pedestrian safety, and additional street lights are planned for University Street.  There is also a push for more directional signs that list specific businesses and where they are located, similar to what you will see along the Main Street above the Reedy River Bridge.  Establishing this type of infrastructure will help the West End grow, and make no mistake, it is coming.  There are three apartment complexes coming to the West End that will add about 350 units and plenty of foot traffic - 150 units at Wardlaw and Rhett Streets, 100 units with the Stadium Apartments at Rhett and Markley, and 107 units at 121 Rhett St.


Yesterday and today’s cold rainy days were not a great start to spring in Greenville. But hold on, the flowers here are already showing off their color, trees are blooming,  and the latter part of the week is looking up.  Thursday should bring sunny skies with highs in the 70s.  Bring it on Mother Nature!

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