Letter: Road projects are necessary

  • Posted: Wednesday, February 19, 2014 12:01 a.m.

We do need to widen Hitchcock Parkway and Silver Bluff Road now.

Why does Aiken fight progress? Come on, people, quit thinking of just yourselves. Our children, grandchildren and future generations will use these roads.

Can you imagine building the Savannah River Plant in two years? Construction started in 1951 and the first reactor was in operation on Dec. 28, 1953. And so, too, building new and improved roads will be expensive, inconvenient and a mess, but our ancestors put up with it and we should, too.

Iím sure you use I-20 and I-95, just two examples of roads that anticipated growth, and it has really paid off. Similar thinking must be applied on a smaller scale to Hitchcock Parkway and Silver Bluff Road. The original planners built Hitchcock Parkway through virgin land in the early 1970s, and it was opened in 1975. I do not remember any fighting to stop it.

The four-lane Route 1 was built and opened in the early 1950s. Route 1 was two lanes in what is now Route 421 through the Valley. Can you imagine how congested it would have been if Whiskey Road from Barnard Road to SRS hadnít been widened in 1951?

We do not have a new courthouse with plenty of parking space because a group fought it and won. We did get a new hospital even though people fought it; even to court. HAC just ignored the fight against it and built it. We had very few doctors in the 1950s. After the hospital was built, they came in numbers.

We almost didnít get a new high school in 1981 because people were against it. Can you imagine how many students would be at Aiken High School today? Consider church expansion in Aiken; Millbrook is in its third church, St. Maryís is building a 950 seat church and St. Johnís is expanding its complex and it looks like a junior college now.

In 1951, there wasnít a Mitchell Shopping Center, a Weeks Center or an Aiken Estates. There were two grocery stores, a few churches and a few schools with double sessions to accommodate the influx of Savannah River Plant families.

Should we have fought Aiken Estates, Foxchase, Houndslake, Gem Lakes, Woodside and all the other housing developments and shopping centers?

Marilyn B. Brown

Aiken

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