Controversial Wal-Mart set to open in Greenwood

GREENWOOD (WISH) – A Wal-Mart many people tried to stop will open in Greenwood Wednesday morning.

It’s on State Road 135, just south of Smith Valley Road. Neighbors had been trying to keep the store from going up, saying it could cause major problems.

Doors will open at 7:30 a.m., but it has been a struggle over the past few years, since Wal-Mart proposed building a store in the Center Grove area.

Neighbors have worried about extra traffic and the bright lights in the parking lot. The city of Greenwood and Wal-Mart came up with a deal to address these concerns.

In order to build the store, Wal-Mart says it paid for improvements to the busy intersection. The company paid to add a right turn lane, and extend a raised median on Smith Valley to cut down on traffic congestion.

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Wal-Mart also added shields to some of the lights in the parking lot, to keep the bright light from streaming into nearby homes. A spokesperson says the company is still waiting on some of those shields to come in so it can install them, but one is already installed.

That was enough to please the city, and now more than two years later the store is ready to open. It will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with a grocery and pharmacy. The store plans on employing about 300 people.

As more people will likely be using the 135 and Smith Valley intersection to get into the Wal-Mart, Greenwood wants to make even more changes to this busy intersection. The city is working to get state funding in order to add roundabouts near the intersection.