Bike lanes to be added to busy West Ashley highway

WEST ASHLEY, SC (WCSC) - A heavily traveled highway in West Ashley will soon have space for more than just the average driver. Charleston County is set to start road construction on Highway 61 from Wesley Drive to Wallace School Road.

By car or by bike, travelers say it's not always the easiest to share the road along the busy stretch Highway 61, known as Saint Andrews Boulevard. Cyclist Mark Faison says he says a little prayer before hitting the road every day.

"There are times when I have to be cautious when SUVs or larger, I have to get back on the sidewalk," Faison said.

"Some of them, they act like they don't see you, but they see you," Quinton Douglass said.

The latest project by Charleston County Roadwise will add either a dedicated bike path only to be used by cyclists or install a shared use lane, which part of is marked off exclusively for cyclists. The changes will happen to about a three mile stretch, from Wesley Drive to Wallace School Road.

The dedicated bike lanes will be installed from Wesley Drive to the intersection of 61 and Old Towne Road, and from this intersection to Wallace School Road, crews will install shared use bike and car lanes.

"That would help me as well as the drivers if I do my part, they have to do theirs," Faison said.

Charleston County road planners say another improvement is the resurfacing of the roadway, and any work requiring lane closures will take place at night, so it won't have a big impact on traffic.

Those who use the road say the changes will help them feel safer.

"I think that will be a big help for the riders who enjoy riding bicycles. Hopefully they will be more careful when they do ride bicycles, especially at night," Malcolm Gonsalves said.

Charleston County Roadwise crews will start construction next week; road work is expected to be complete by December.

This project will be funded by Charleston County and grant money from the City of Charleston and the state. It's expected to cost $2.4 million.

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