S.C. Ports Authority personnel assured about 150 people gathered at Greer’s Cannon Center last week that state traffic engineers will closely monitor the impact of the state’s new inland port project on the neighboring community.
Mike Hoffman, Greer terminal manager with the Ports Authority, said the new port adjacent to GSP Airport will be accessed via the Brockman McClimon Road exit 58 on I-85.
The only available entrance will be on J. Verne Smith Parkway via highway 101, Hoffman said. The exit is “certainly capable of handling the truck traffic that will be part of our operation.”
Ports Authority Senior Vice President Jack Ellenberg and representatives of Norfolk Southern rail line, senior vice president at the South Carolina Ports Authority, S.C. Department of Transportation, and the pertinent offices in the City of Greer were also on hand to update the public and answer questions.
Changes that had been made in residential areas near the rail line included removal of houses, re-routing of some streets and landscaping to minimize trains’ visual impact, officials said.
Audience members included contractors looking for business, people concerned with issues such as trees that would be removed, and others trying to get a better understanding of the logistics.
Eric Dillon, district traffic engineer with the S.C. DOT, said most people came to his table with concerns about how the project would affect traffic. He said there are currently no projections, but rather a “wait-and-see” approach to how well things will work as planned.
Once the port is in operation, it will be easier to assess whether any streets need to be widened, traffic signals added, and how well trucks follow the designated route. He said complaints from residents would be part of the assessment.