Charleston Co. to explain roads improvement project in open house

VIDEO: Charleston Co. to unveil traffic improvement plan

JAMES ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - Charleston County will give commuters who have battled gridlocked traffic a detailed look at work being done to improve traffic at a Thursday open house.

The intersection of Camp and Folly Roads on James Island is no stranger to gridlock traffic during all times of the day.

Charleston County recently took action to improve the drive of James Islanders, as well as beach goers with a $14.4 million project, revamping the intersection.

The 5-phase project will cover Folly Road from about 1,000 feet south of Camp Road to the intersection with Eugene Gibbs Street and Rivers Point Row, as well as Camp Road from West Madison Avenue to Oyster Point Row. Phase 1 is already complete and included paving Folly Rd.

County leaders say the project will help traffic congestion at Folly and Camp Roads and make roads safer.

Future phases will include adding drainage pipes to address area flooding as well as improving pedestrian access. County plans include creating more than 4,000 ft. of bike lanes and 7,000 ft. of sidewalks. Parts of Folly and Camp Roads. will also be widened to allow for more turning lanes. But some locals say widening lanes will not fix the problem.

"The more they widen the road, the more houses they build so it doesn't do any good," Thomas Jenkins, who lives in Fort Johnson, said. Jenkins said it's difficult to drive along Folly Rd., especially around lunch time, but widening only portions of Folly Rd. could lead to bottle necking at other portions of the area.

County planners will go more in-depth with the stages of their construction, during an open house at Fort Johnson middle school Thursday evening. The 6:30 p.m. meeting will have no formal presentation.

During a groundbreaking ceremony last month, project managers said around 35,000 vehicles pass through the intersection daily. Charleston County plans for the roads to be widened to allow for more turning lanes to help alleviate traffic issues. Their plan also calls for bicycles lanes and sidewalks, as well as improving drainage.

The project is expected to take 18 months to complete.

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