LEXINGTON (WACH)-- For more than a century, James Harman has owned prime real estate in Lexington County. However, with a multimillion dollar school opening near his land, this 74 year old man is finding himself in the middle of a bitter battle with local and state leaders.
"My family - we spent a bunch of money developing that back there, and it's gonna be gone when you run a road down through there." says Harman.
The South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT), state lawmakers, and Lexington County leaders are all working together to find solutions for traffic trouble near the intersection of Corley Mill Road and Highway 378. Currently, leaders would like to add additional lanes on Highway 378 and reroute the entrance to Corley Mill. Also, in an attempt to control traffic flow, they'll build a round-a-bout. However, for that to happen, Harman would have to give up a portion of his family's property.
"We've already had a conversation with them. We've already sat down with them and we've already said that we just didn't want it to happen." explains Harman.
Lexington County lawmaker Rick Quinn has expressed his concerns with the Harman family not wanting to give up some of their land. "If we can't get this property and move the intersection-that's really what we're talking about. There really isn't any other option." says Quinn.
With more than two thousand students expected to attend River Bluff High School, state and county leaders are racing to overhaul the traffic flow in and out of Corley Mill Road before August. However, with Harman not budging on his land, lawmakers see an already big traffic problem getting even bigger.
"It's a two lane intersection that's basically been there for over 50 years. It's not designed to handle the traffic levels that are currently there, so if we can't get this done it's gonna be a real bad bad thing for the community." says Quinn.
However, Harman shows no signs of changing his mind. "The more I've got to think about it the family thinks about the situation it's not the way it's going to have to be." says Harman.
The SCDOT, state lawmakers and county leaders are already looking at other options in case they're unable to acquire Harman's land. But they all agree, Harman's land is the key to fixing the traffic concerns at one of Lexington's busiest intersections.