N. Charleston, county and state leaders meet to discuss road projects and traffic solutions

N. Charleston, county and state leaders meet to discuss road projects and traffic solutions

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - One of the top issues for residents in North Charleston is traffic.

On Tuesday, North Charleston City Council members for District 4 and 9 held a meeting along with county and state municipalities about the congestion issues in the area and solutions.

The goal was to bring residents up to date with what's being done to tackle the traffic.

There are road projects planned for the future in Charleston and Dorchester counties to help alleviate traffic in areas that cross both county lines.

Things aren't what they used to be when it comes to traffic in the tri-county.

Charleston area resident Ann Bryant says there's too much congestion.

"It takes me about an hour to get down to Leeds Avenue in the morning time from here and that's leaving at 7 o' clock," Bryant said.

Years ago it took Bryant about 15 minutes to get to her destination.

North Charleston City Councilman Ron Brinson of District 4 says more than 30,000 residents live in the North Charleston area of Dorchester County and many travel out of the county for work.

"Part of our city is nestled at the interface of Dorchester and Charleston counties and we have to depend on both jurisdictions to react to traffic," Brinson said.

He calls the collaboration between the jurisdictions regionalism. He says it could be the answer to a lot of planning issues.

"We're growing so fast the infrastructure is always behind the growth curve, whether we're talking about roads or school," Brinson said.

Charleston County will widen Dorchester road from Michaux Parkway to the Dorchester-Charleston County line which is near Bosch.

The $71 million project is expected be completed in 12 years.

In addition, Charleston County is planning a new I-26 interchange and a flyover that would function like a bridge over Ashley Phosphate Road connecting Palmetto Commerce Parkway to roads near the area of the airport.

Dorchester County has seven projects on the to-do list including widening parts of Dorchester Road, Patriot Boulevard, Wescott Boulevard and more.

The seven projects costs total to about $1 billion and funding sources are unknown.

However, Dorchester County has completed 20 out of 22 road improvements projects funded by the one-cents sales tax referendum from 2004.

"It's a quality of life issue, this is not unique to our region," Brinson said.

The South Carolina Department of Transportation has also changed the timing of some lights on Dorchester Road to help traffic flow.

The SCDOT Commissioner Robbie Robbins says they've been studying and monitoring traffic patterns to see where they can improve areas.

One suggestion was extending the right turn lane that approaches Trolley Road.

He says the creation and extension of Patriot Boulevard has been a traffic reliever.

"I'm truly going to move away if it gets any worse because it takes too much of my time," Bryant said.

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