'Superstreet' plans to curb 'dangerous intersection' on Johns Island

'Superstreet' plans to curb 'dangerous intersection' on Johns Island

JOHNS ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - The intersection of U.S. Highway 17 and Main Road heading to Johns Island will be getting a major upgrade in the coming years. Tuesday night, a public hearing was held at the Johns Island Library to explain how a design, coined a 'superstreet' will cut down on accident and traffic wait times.

"We need help," said Mike Leatherwood. "We need it soon."

Leatherwood was one of at least 20 people who attended a meeting at the Johns Island library Tuesday night to talk about the future of a 'superstreet' at the intersection of U.S. Highway 17 and Main Road.

"If you live on Johns Island it's going to be huge for us," he said. "It's going to be a great help."

And Leatherwood wasn't the only one excited about the 'superstreet.'

Charleston County Council member Anna Johnson, who setup the informational gathering, said she can't wait for the intersection to undergo change because she says it's dangerous.

"If this is going to help us cut back on fatalities or injuries at that intersection then I think this is what we have to go ahead and make a stab at doing something better with the safety there," said Johnson.

Johnson says Charleston County Council approved $1.5 million for the project along with a $2 million pledge from the South Carolina Department of Transportation.

"It'll cut down accidents by 45 percent," said Rick Day, quoting a study that was done in the last few months.

Day is a consultant working with the SCDOT.

"The goal is to build an intersection that works not only today but in 20 years and to build it with a reasonable price and make it more safe as well as increase the capacity."

Rick Day, a consultant working with SCDOT says the "superstreet" will keep traffic moving with less light changes and a focus on the right and left turn lanes off of Highway 17.

The 'superstreet' intersection like the one proposed for Johns Island already exists in other places across the country. Close by in Leland, NC a superstreet is redirecting traffic.

The South Carolina Department of transportation graded the intersection at Main Road and U.S. Highway 17 between an 'E' and 'F.' Like a traditional school rating scale, an 'A' is the best.

Day says the intersection will be getting a facelift because of this rating and it's high accident rate.

According to numbers provided by SCDOT, there were 359 crashes, 193 injures and three fatalities at the crossroad over an eight year span from 2003 and 2011.

"Three fatalities is too many to have at an intersection," said Johnson in closing. "One is too many."

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