Unfinished road construction could delay opening of new Fort Mil - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Unfinished road construction could delay opening of new Fort Mill school

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FORT MILL, SC (WBTV) -

Construction for Doby's Bridge Elementary School is underway right now in Fort Mill, but so is a major road project that could delay it's opening.

It's a project that wouldn't have been possible had the school not agreed to it, the Fort Mill Southern Bypass that's currently under construction and paid for by pennies for progress.

Orange cones and heavy equipment, two things according to a written agreement between York County and the Fort Mill School District, were supposed to be gone by Thursday, May 1st.

"The county needed to purchase land for a right away to straighten Doby's Bridge Road and part of the agreement was that we would give them the land if they would have the road completed by may 1st of this year," said Fort Mill School Board Chairman Patrick White.

In the written agreement signed back in July of 2012, if York County failed to have the construction done by Thursday on the Fort Mill Southern Bypass, the county must pay the school district the cost of the land.

That total comes to $114,000.

The new Doby's Bridge Elementary School cannot open its doors until the road construction is complete and that's a concern for school officials.

"There's a lot of times you go through there and I'm not an expert at road building business, but often time you see equipment sitting for days at a time and it doesn't seem the urgency is there to get the road completed," said White.

Students, busses and teachers have been re-assigned in preparation of the new school opening and White knows this situation could create a huge headache in the months ahead.

"We just want to work with the county and make sure that everything can be done to expedite the process and get that road open on time because it not opening on time is not really an option for us at this point," he continued.

The lead contractor on the Fort Mill Southern Bypass project says they are behind. He blames weather and material delays, but says he hopes to have the road completed by May 31st. 

According to county officials, the road was supposed to be completed in the winter of 2013.

If that $114,000 check is cut from the county to the school district, it's not clear where that money is coming from.

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