ANDERSON COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – Before construction begins on a new Buc-ee’s planned for Anderson County, the South Carolina Department of Transportation wants to make changes to nearby roads.
Buc-ee’s, a popular road trip destination for travelers, is planning a new location near Interstate 85.
On Tuesday evening, Anderson County Council members said they were among dozens of people who attended SCDOT’s input session that outlines possible road changes near the future construction site.
“Right now, they are trying to pick a design that works for the community and works for DOT. I think once that’s picked, they will start announcing more of a timeframe,” said Brett Sanders, Vice Chairman of Anderson County Council.
Sanders said he was one of several county council members who attended the meeting. He said there were several renderings that SCDOT unveiled to the public.
“Some of the council’s concerns along with other people in the community was the traffic issue up there at the intersection at exit 21,” said Sanders.
Anderson County Administrator Rusty Burns said the entire project will cost $70 million, consisting of upgrades near U.S. 178 and I-85 to alleviate congestion.
Council members said the overpass and roads surrounding the future site of Buc-ee’s are outdated. Some Anderson County residents said they agree.
“The highways around Anderson County have always been a little bit iffy but bringing something that’s going to bring in that much traffic, I think they definitely need to bring in something that’s going to widen out the roads and prepare for more traffic to come through, especially right off of I-85,” said Anderson County resident Chris Bell.
As SCDOT continued working on their road plan, excitement built in and around Anderson County ahead of the opening of the highly anticipated tourist stop.
“I’m excited about the project and the economic development and the job opportunities that it’s going to present,” said Sanders.
“I’ve heard it’s definitely different as gas stations go. As someone who’s been to a lot of gas stations in my day, it’s supposed to be bigger and a lot more exciting than normal gas stations,” said Bell. “For as many of those billboards they’ve got up going down the highway, I’m pretty excited about it.”
According to Anderson County’s administrator, Buc-ee’s contributed $1 million for the road upgrade project. Council members said that money is being used by SCDOT for preliminary engineering work and environmental studies.
In Tuesday’s input session, council members said SCDOT discussed plans to upgrade additional roads and exits in the area, along with the Highway 178 overpass project above I-85.
There is no word yet on when a final rendering of the upgrades will be released.