East Butler Road Study Will Define Options
Final Report | Final Report Appendix
View the Presentation Here | E. Butler Road Study Comment Form | E. Butler Road Study Fact Sheet
Update - February 18, 2016
Mauldin City Council approved the East Butler Road Corridor Plan at it’s February 16, 2016 meeting. City staff collaborated with Toole Design Group to develop a minor road improvement project for this important commercial corridor, as an alternative to the five lane roadway proposed by SCDOT. The report recommends intersection improvements, realignment of Old Mill Road, realignment of Owens Lane, minor widening at Murray Drive and Owens Lane, and bicycle and pedestrian improvements. The traffic analysis by Sprague and Sprague Consulting Engineers shows that these improvements will accommodate expected future traffic through year 2040, although some peak period traffic congestion will occur.
(Appendix for Report - click here)
Update - September 18
The East Butler Road Corridor Study has provided community stakeholders a number of opportunities to comment on preliminary South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) studies that recommended a four- or five-lane roadway. The verdict from the community appears to be a resounding “no” to any major widening of East Butler Road. The recommendation of the East Butler Road Corridor Study will be that the road will remain 3 lanes between Bridges Road (Mauldin High School) and Murray Drive (Mauldin Cultural Center).
The two offset or “dogleg” intersections in the corridor are being evaluated for traffic flow improvements, which may include level of service improvements and/or realignment of side streets.
The East Butler Road/Old Mill Road/Bethel Drive intersection will need additional turn lanes, or Old Mill Road will need to be realigned to connect directly to the existing Bethel Drive. Consultants are evaluating the best approach now with an eye toward minimizing impacts to adjacent properties.
The East Butler Road/Murray Drive/Owens Lane intersection approaches gridlock in the afternoon rush hour now. Long left-turn lanes between Murray Drive and Owens Lane are needed, or Owens Lane could be realigned to meet the BB&T Drive around City Hall.
One proposed design for the street is shown below; adjustments are being examined that would minimize adjacent property impacts. Another option is to provide slightly wider lanes on the street and substitute a wide sidewalk for the off street bike-ped path.
Update - July 24
The East Butler Road Corridor Plan is off to a great start. We’ve had over 100 people participate in the public information meeting, stakeholder focus groups, and the July 21 design workshop.
The presentation from the design workshop is now available at the link above.
Keep in mind, the design concepts in the presentation are PRELIMINARY. We’ve heard several comments and concerns about the intersection changes that were presented at the design workshop, and Toole Design Group and Sprague & Sprague Engineers are working with city staff to make adjustments to the preliminary concepts.
We are ONLY considering changes at the Bethel Drive, Old Mill Road, Murray Drive, and Owens Lane intersections. No changes are being proposed at the recently widened intersection where Corn Road and Bridges Road meet East Butler Road, and no changes are proposed at the intersection of East Butler Road and Main Street (US 276), where SCDOT recently reconfigured the existing lanes and made some improvements in the traffic signal timing.
It seems very clear that there is no support for widening East Butler Road to a “five-lane” major arterial highway, which essentially is what SCDOT had proposed. The goal of the East Butler Road Corridor Plan is to develop minor traffic flow and safety improvements, as well as quality of life improvements that will make Mauldin an even more attractive place to call home. We think we’re getting close to reaching that goal, with a lot of good input and feedback from stakeholders. There will be more opportunities for comments and suggestions on the revised intersection design concepts that we’re working on now.
About the Project
Funding to improve East Butler Road from Bridges Road to Main Street (US 276) is included in the five-year transportation plan for the Greenville area. Preliminary engineering is scheduled to begin in 2019, with right of way purchases and construction to begin in 2020.
The South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) and the Greenville-Pickens Area Transportation Study (GPATS) have listed the 1.7-mile project in the draft Transportation Improvement Program as a four-lane roadway with median, with a budget of $17 million.
City officials and residents have expressed concerns about the impacts of this four-lane plan on adjacent residents and business owners. In response, Mauldin submitted a request for planning funds to GPATS last year to study the corridor and develop the East Butler Road Corridor Plan with the goal of balancing community interests and transportation needs.
With $27,200 in hand for a study, City staff advertised a Request for Qualifications for the planning study and selected Toole Design Group (TDG), a national firm specializing in urban street design. TDG recently opened an office in Spartanburg. Ernie Boughman, a Spartanburg native with 20 years of transportation planning experience, will be the project manager for TDG. Gaye Sprague of Sprague and Sprague Consulting Engineers will be on the consultant team as traffic engineer. Sprague also is an Upstate native, with over 35 years of transportation engineering experience.
The consulting team is charged with leading the development of the East Butler Corridor Plan to address current and future transportation needs while minimizing impacts to existing businesses and residents. Extensive opportunities will be available for citizens to engage the consultants and provide input in the development of the plan.
City staff has had positive experience recently engaging SCDOT, residents and business owners to ensure the recent widening project on East Butler at Bridges Road was accomplished with minimal impacts to adjacent properties. The 1.7-mile section of East Butler between Bridges Road and Main Street is a much larger and more complex challenge.
Because the existing three-lane East Butler Road was built to very low design standards – asphalt gutters instead of concrete curbs, no separation between the gutters and sidewalk, and very tight corners at intersections – any improvements to the roadway will have some impacts on adjacent homes and businesses and will be expensive.
Planners at SCDOT and GPATS have proposed a project that would maximize traffic flow, but at a cost of $10 million per mile and significant impacts to businesses and residents. By developing the East Butler Road Corridor Plan, City staff and officials hope to build a broad community consensus about the type of improvements to East Butler Road that will best meet all community needs, not just maximize vehicular traffic flow. The plan will consider ways to make the road safer for pedestrians and cyclists as well as motorists. Traffic engineering and safety improvements will focus around intersections at Bethel Drive, Old Mill Road, Murray Drive, and Owens Lane.
PUBLIC INPUT MEETINGS
ALL MEETINGS HAVE CONCLUDED.
View the July 21 Presentation Here
To receive e-mail notices of community meetings and events, sign up for our newsletter or “Like” us on Facebook.