Mayor Knox White was joined by City officials, community partners and the project team for the grand opening of Parallel Parkway, a new limited-access road connecting Verdae Boulevard and Woodruff Industrial Lane. The public-private project originally began with a driveway request from Piedmont Natural Gas, which has a facility on Woodruff Industrial Lane, before becoming a public road designed to alleviate traffic on Woodruff Road as part of the Greenville-Pickens Area Transportation Study (GPATS) plan for the Woodruff Road Congestion Relief Project.
Funding for the Parallel Parkway project was provided by Piedmont Natural Gas ($1,287,500), the City of Greenville ($835,000), Greenville County ($400,000), the Greenville Legislative Delegation Transportation Committee ($400,000), Hollingsworth Funds and Verdae Properties ($312,500, plus right-of-way donation) and Magnolia Park Greenville ($200,000).
The two-lane, 0.42-mile Parallel Parkway features one multi-lane roundabout and two single-lane roundabouts designed to prevent vehicle back-ups and keep traffic flowing. Added amenities include a 10-foot-wide multi-use path and 17 30-foot streetlights to increase safety and visibility for motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists. As a limited-access road, there are no driveway cuts along Parallel Parkway, making it safer and allowing traffic to flow freely by eliminating turns off of and onto the roadway.
In addition to providing an alternative to Woodruff Road, the new road also provides multiple connections to Woodruff Road by allowing motorists to access major destinations at various points along the corridor. Included in the project were a 600-foot extension of Green Heron Road and a 750-foot extension of Ketron Court, both previously dead-end streets, and the construction of a right-turn lane and other improvements on Woodruff Industrial Lane. Parallel Parkway is expected to remove approximately 7,500 vehicles daily from Woodruff Road, which averages 40,000 vehicles per day.
In addition to the road construction, the project also includes an environmental component. Approximately 1,200 feet of streambank will be enhanced utilizing natural systems restoration from Parallel Parkway to Old Sulphur Springs Road. Additionally, a 250-foot perpetual conservation buffer has been established for approximately 1,800 feet along the waterway. The restoration and conservation will help to establish a stable stream reach and improved water quality downstream of the new road construction.