Community Focus: Mark Smyers, talks about the Lower Saluda Greenway Feasibility Study

July 6, 2021

In March 2021, the Central Midlands Council of Governments (CMCOG) in cooperation with the Irmo Chapin Recreation Commission (ICRC) released the Lower Saluda Greenway Feasibility Study. The purpose of the Lower Saluda Greenway, a proposed 10.5-mile multi-use paved path along the north side of the Lower Saluda River, is to increase safe access to nearby parks, trails, and destinations, aid in short-trip multimodal travel, and increase regional connectivity and unity between the Lexington and Irmo areas with the communities of Columbia, West Columbia, and Cayce.

The Report provides the region with a guide for a path forward to complete the Greenway. Specifically, it:

  • defines the greenway’s mission, purpose, and need;
  • identifies potential environmental, cultural, and social resources that should have direct access to the greenway;
  • determines natural features or social concerns that will become constraints for greenway construction;
  • informs, educates, and solicits input from the public about the greenway;
  • provides a detailed concept plan and recommended alignment for the greenway; and
  • provides cost estimates for implementing the project.

This Feasibility Report is part of the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) Planning (PL) phase and must be approved by CMCOG, acting as the Columbia Area Transportation Study (COATS) Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) before the Preliminary Engineering (PE) phase can commence.