Charleston County looks to improve Sam Rittenberg Blvd. & Hwy 61 intersection

VIDEO: Charleston County looks to improve Sam Rittenberg Blvd. & Hwy 61 intersection

WEST ASHLEY SC (WCSC) - A busy West Ashley Intersection is about to get even busier.
Charleston County advertised Monday for the bid on Sam Rittenberg and Ashley River Road intersections improvements project.

The bids for the project will be opened March 15. Construction is expected to begin in the summer of 2016 and take one year to complete. The $3 million project will be funded by the Charleston County transportation sales tax.

The improvements include:

  • Construction of an additional left turn lane on the northbound SC-61 approach (coming from Wappoo Road toward Sam Rittenberg Boulevard).
  • Construction of an additional left turn lane on the southbound SC-61 approach (coming from Wallace School Road toward Sam Rittenberg Boulevard).
  • Extension of the southbound right turn lane on SC-7 (coming from Wappoo Road toward SC-61).
  • Lane width modifications to provide 11-foot thru lanes and 14-foot outside, shared-use lanes on SC-61 within the project limits.
  • Driveway modifications.
  • Traffic signal timing improvements to the intersections within the project limits.
  • Decorative mast arm traffic signals.
  • Decorative crosswalks with stamped brick pattern.

Many drivers are ready to see improvements.
"There's a lot of traffic," said Susan Buckley. "When people come home at night, it's backed up all the way down the road on 61."

"It's really busy and it's actually kind of scary," said Olive Rentz.

For drivers, this intersection is frustrating.
For Shelton Harris, who walks this intersection twice a day, it's more than that.

"Pretty dangerous, everyday having to face this," said Harris. "You got people turning, coming from everywhere, even when the lights are red for them."

Harris works two jobs. In order to get to the bus stop, he has to face the intersection.
It's something he says has almost cost him his life.

"One car almost hit me," said Harris. "Then, I had to stop so I threw my bike in the way and it hit the bike instead of me."

Concerns like that are why Charleston County is going to make improvements.

While many say they're ready for these change, they know traffic could be worse while the work is being done.

"Be patient, that's all you can do," said Buckley.
"Be patient, don't honk your horn," said Rentz.

Others say to remember to look out for everyone using the intersection.

"Please look before driving," said Harris.

Copyright WCSC 2016. All rights reserved.