Future Drive and Northside Drive Extension Project

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The City of North Charleston is building three, new, four lane roads that will join three major thoroughfares; Highway 78, Palmetto Commerce Parkway and Ashley Phosphate Road.

The Future Drive and Northside Drive Extension Project, a major three phase project underway in North Charleston, is intended to help easy traffic jams and give drivers more options when it comes to maneuvering around delays.

"Everyone knows there's a lot of traffic congestion in that area between Ladson Road, Ashley Phosphate and Dorchester Roads. So, the idea was this network of roads would help relieve some of that traffic congestion," says Mike Dalrymple, Assistant Director of North Charleston Public Works.

Phase I of the project is finished. There's a new traffic light on Highway 78, a few blocks from I-26 inbound to the Fairgrounds. That's Phase I, connecting the newly constructed Weber Drive with the Highway 78-Shipley Street Intersection.

Dalrymple says, "Phase II is the extension of what was started in Phase I. It'll complete the connection in between Highway 78 and Northside Drive which connects to Ashley Phosphate. "

Currently, Northside Drive runs parallel to I-26 and abruptly stops at a dead end. Crews have already started working on opening up that dead end and will add three extra miles to Northside Drive.

The third phase has already begun. It will connect Palmetto Commerce Parkway with Northside Drive via Future Drive.

Dalrymple says, "It's intended to be a complete street. There'll be sidewalks and hiker-biker trails and new high efficient LED street lights to reduce maintenance and operation costs."

Each intersection will be equipped with decorative traffic signals, colorful crosswalks, benches, trash cans and recycle bins. This extensive project should be completed by September 30, 2015.

Bass Pro Shops, an outdoor retailer specializing in hunting, fishing, camping and other related outdoor gear, is planning on building a store on the new Northside Drive Extension later this year. The 130,000 to 150,000-square-foot store is expected to open in 2015.