Mayor Riley talks West Ashley development

Charleston city leaders say they're taking steps to improve the economy and sense of community in West Ashley.

At a Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce event Wednesday, Mayor Joe Riley touched on one project, that's draft plans are nearing completion.

City leaders consider the intersection of Bees Ferry Road

and Glenn McConnell Parkway the western hub of West Ashley - with a lot of potential. The overall vision for the area is a whole lot more than just a widened roadway.

"What great cities are doing now, around the country and around the world, are adding to the livability and economic success by making sure that bicycle and pedestrian access is included," said Riley.

Riley says bike and pedestrian lanes, 10 feet wide, will be added along the two busy roadways and the intersection won't be a roundabout.

"The idea at this intersection was to come up with a different design that handled the traffic better and created a place at the same time," said Tim Keane, Director of Planning for City of Charleston.

Keane says plans include adding wide sidewalks stores, offices and even homes on the property around the circle.

"This could be like a new town, I mean its big enough, the scale of it is such that - it's substantial," said Keane.

The area is being split into four quadrants, for planning purposes.

"Once you start seeing more and more of that and the other quadrants starts developing - it'll start making a lot more sense," said Bill Moody, Charleston City Councilman.

Traffic will be able to move around the circle, but there will also be four different roadways around the circle that drivers will have the option of taking instead. On the circle itself, Keane says there will be a lowered speed limit and traffic lights.

"I think we've got an opportunity to build the next great community in this Charleston region," said Moody.

Moody says it's still going to be another five to 10 years before the full development for that area will be complete. County officials tells Live 5 that there is no set time as to when construction on the circle will begin.

We will continue to keep track of this project for you.

Copyright WCSC 2014. All rights reserved.