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The streets of York are paved with copper

Let’s hope there are a lot of pennies in York County’s road fund – or found on sidewalks and the roads themselves.

On Dec. 16, the County Council voted 6-1 in favor of spending an additional $3.2 million for a Rock Hill street project.

The county discovered that a budget error understated the amount necessary for the White Street project from downtown Rock Hill to Constitution Boulevard, and now will need to tack on another 55 percent to the $5.9 million requested in 2009 for the original project.

Looks like $1.4 million in road design and right of way land acquisition was not included in the original budget, according to a Rock Hill Herald report. And oops No. 2, once the project got underway, engineers realized they would have to relocate a business and rebuild a sidewalk adding $1.8 million to cost overruns.

The White Street project is being paid for with the Pennies for Progress fund, the county’s road building program financed by a 1-cent sales tax approved by county voters.  The Rock Hill paper noted that cost overruns are not uncommon for projects funded with the Pennies program, since they are often budgeted well before design and construction actually begin. Another project funded by the program, the Fort Mill southern bypass, was originally budgeted at $15 million, but ballooned to $53 million after additional lanes were built.

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