STEELE CREEK NEWS
I-485 Exit 4
Signs Should Say "Steele Creek Road" not "Fort
29, 2017) Motorists along I-485 know that Exit 4 is where to get off
to go to Fort Mill, South Carolina. At least that's what the six exit signs say: Highway 160
to Fort Mill.
But Highway 160 is
not the best way to go to Fort Mill. The signs would better serve
the community if they identified this as the "Steele Creek Road"
exit. This is one of the main roads into the Steele Creek community,
and visitors can miss the exit because they do not see the road name
on the exit signs.
The NCDOT Division
Traffic Engineer has said that this change seems reasonable. but
since "Steele Creek Road" has more letters in it than "Fort Mill" and to
meet federal requirements for the font size and placement of
messages on interstate signs, the signs would need to be larger than
the existing signs. That would require the fabrication of all new
NCDOT evaluated the
sign structures and determined that new structures would not be
needed, but most of the signs themselves would have to be changed
out. The cost estimate to do this work is right around $70,000, and
at the present time NCDOT does not have funds that it can commit to
getting these signs changed. (If the six structures had to be
replaced to support the larger signs, the cost would be upwards of
$750,000 or more.)
representative in the North Carolina House of Representatives, Chaz
Beasley, believes the sign change is doable and has been working
with legislative staff to identify funding sources.
“Given the growth of
Steele Creek, it is important for travelers and locals alike to know
how to reach our community. We are looking into funding sources and
will continue to do the ground work to make this change happen,”
Exit 4 is the exit for North Carolina Highway 160,
and if you take it south, it becomes South Carolina Highway 160 and
eventually takes you into Fort Mill, the next incorporated place
down the road.
Highway 160 to Fort Mill sends you through
a lot of local traffic backups, stop lights, and narrow bottle necks. A sensible motorist heading southbound on
I-485 would continue to I-77 and take that to Fort Mill (although
I-77 can also back up during rush hour).
A motorist heading
northbound on I-485 to Fort Mill would be going the wrong direction and would need to
So "Fort Mill" on
the Exit 4 signs is misleading and unnecessary. The signs should say "Steele
be consistent with other signs along the highway that list the street
names: S Tryon St, Arrowood Rd, and West Blvd. Addresses on
Steele Creek Road are by
the street name, not the highway number.
Please plan on attending the Steele Creek Residents Association
Annual Meeting on February 22. Representatives of NCDOT will be
present and available to answer your questions about these signs and
other highway issues. See
Steele Creek Residents Association Annual Meeting is February 22 for additional details.
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