This week’s opening of the Greene Street Bridge project marks the end of phase two of an ongoing Innovista Master Plan aimed to provide connectivity, improve traffic flow, and spur economic development.
The Innovation Master Plan (endorsed by City Council on October 17, 2007), hasn’t been an easy feat for Columbia. The original plans outline public improvements — including new roads, bridges, pedestrian walkways, and the coming waterfront park. The proposed ~$121 million investment was predicted to generate:
- 8.5 million sqft of mixed-use development
- 8,700 jobs
- ~$17.7 million annual tax revenue for Richland County + City of Columbia’s schools.
The newly opened bridge — extending between Colonial Life Arena and Huger Street — provides dedicated bike lanes, sidewalks, and will eventually lead Soda Citizens to a new park along the Congaree River. But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves just yet.
Phase one entailed:
- Converting Greene Street to a three-lane roadway with sidewalks and dedicated bike lanes from Assembly to Gadsden streets. Phase one was completed in 2017.
Phase two entailed:
- Converting Greene Street into a two-lane roadway
- Adding a three-lane curb
- Adding a gutter roadway with sidewalks and dedicated bike lanes from Huger to Gadsden streets.
- Adding a bridge at the Norfolk Southern and CSX railroad crossing to reconnect Greene Street where the road had previously stopped.
Phase three aims:
- To extend Williams Street from Blossom to Senate streets
- Extend Greene Street to Williams Street
- Provide connectivity to a proposed waterfront park on the Congaree River.
Read through the full Innovista Master Plan for more information.