Improvements, rain set back Bees Ferry widening two months

WEST ASHLEY, SC (WCSC) - The construction on Bees Ferry Road is running two months behind. According to the project manager, it is slated to be finished in June of 2014.

Four-and-a-half miles of cones and construction crews as the entire length of Bees Ferry road gets a major facelift.

The project to widen Bees Ferry from two to four lanes began in January 2012. The project manager says the decision to add a right turn lane at Proximity Drive, near the Grand Oaks neighborhood, move a few sewer man holes off the road, and all the rain last month has pushed the deadline from April to June of next year.

Its purpose is to ease some of the traffic on Savannah Highway.

"Bees Ferry being widened will improve the traffic, will improve the connectivity, will improve access and, hopefully, will give us a better basis for living in that area," says Victor Rawl, a Charleston County council member.

While the widening may ease traffic on Highway 17, some drivers say they're concerned about traffic on Bees Ferry after all the development.

"It opens a large area of construction, and, hopefully, not too many multi-family dwellings because it will put a lot more cars on the road, and it won't be wide enough once again," says Linda Sprague, a West Ashley resident.

Other residents agree with council member Victor Raw, who says with more development, comes some growing pains.

"There's just so much acreage out here, I'm sure there will be more development, but the expanse you're going to have, I think should be adequate to handle it," says Marvin Gilbert, another West Ashley resident.

"It's our job as elected officials to make sure we balance the development with the transportation capability to provide access for all," explains Rawl.

The Bees Ferry widening project also includes a sidewalk on one side and a multi-use path on the other, two left-turn lanes at the intersection of Bees Ferry and Ashley River Roads, and several upgraded stoplights.

According to the project manager, the plan to make the West Ashley Circle a full circle is an entirely different project. While the county will handle the construction, she says the city is waiting for a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers, as the area has a significant amount of wetlands. No word yet on when that permit will come through.