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                                                                         Press Release


Elaborate ceremony includes representatives from each sector of project.

Greenville, SC - February 16, 2001 - Officials hosted an unveiling for the Buck Mickel Memorial Southern Connector Friday, February 16, 2001, complete with fireworks, music and dignitaries. The event was held to officially unveil the roadway, scheduled to open before the end of the month.

The Unveiling marked the culmination of years of hard work for hundreds of individuals. With construction on the Connector beginning in February 1998, the entire project was completed in three years, just shy of 10 months ahead of schedule and under budget.

Sound and lighting systems and a stage were constructed specifically for the Unveiling. During the ceremony, representatives from all the partners, SCDOT, elected officials (local, state and federal), Chamber leaders, and other team members made a human ribbon, stretching across the toll plaza.

In a move symbolizing the open road, the "ribbon" broke in half on cue as participants separated down the middle and made their way to either side of the road. Once opened, the invited guests drove through the toll plaza and caravaned to the Ryan Nicholas Inn where a Gala was being held to benefit The United Way of Greenville. Fireworks concluded the ceremony. The event marked the first time traffic was allowed on the completed Connector.

The public opening of the road is expected in the immediate future. Motorists will be given an opportunity to ride the road free for several weeks. During the free ride period, passengers using the Southern Connector will be given an opportunity to win several prizes including Michelin tires, vacation packages and more. The grand prize is a Land Rover Discovery II, which will be given away on WYFF Thursday, March 15th during a live telecast of the International Auto Show kick-off special.

The 16-mile road will lessen traffic in southern Greenville County. It will also open new sites for development and serve as a link between industrial, commercial and residential areas. The projected traffic volumes at the toll plaza indicate an average daily traffic use of 28,000 in 2001 increasing to 37,000 per day in 2015.


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