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$2.5 million project could eliminate traffic congestion in downtown Lexington

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LEXINGTON, SC ( WACH) ---Traffic could be a thing of the past for drivers in downtown Lexington. Starting Saturday traffic will split at North Lake Drive and Church Street.

A $2.5 million project, paid for by the town’s hospitality tax, will make all lanes on North Lake Drive northbound and all lanes on Church Street flow southbound.

Bill Shanahan owns the Lexington County Blowfish. The team's offices are on Main Street. Right now, he says customers experience traffic jams, limited parking and construction delays. “Anytime you have growth there's going to be some growing pains,” Shanahan said. “Everything to me is positive because the explosive growth in Lexington and Lexington County is helpful to us as a business.”

It’s the first of three projects aimed at addressing congestion in the city. Officials say it will add more parking downtown, easier traffic flow and eliminate congestion. More than 17,000 cars use Main Street every day. Over the last 10 years, the city has seen an 80 percent growth.

Mayor Steve MacDougall said this will allow the city to have more flexibility with controlling traffic lights in real time. “This project is really based on giving Main Street Lexington 50 percent more green light time,” MacDougall said. “We know these two systems working in unison on Main Street and downtown Lexington is going to reduce traffic congestion.”

Lexington Police will monitor the area to ensure people understand the new routes. “We don’t think it’s going to end everything,” Shanahan said. “But at least they're trying to make it better for all of us.”

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