CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The next steps to improve a busy and congested intersection on Johns Island are underway, but it could still be another year before the area sees the start of some relief.
Charleston County officials say changes to improve Maybank Highway at River Road won’t happen until January 2021.
The plan is to add more turn lanes to the intersection and a new traffic signal.
Charleston County Council recently approved the use of eminent domain, if it’s needed, to buy private property to make these changes happen.
For now, officials with the city of Charleston say they regularly monitor the timing of the current traffic signal to make sure it is allowing the maximum amount of cars through the intersection.
Some Johns Island residents say these changes have been needed for a long time, and they wish the improvements could be completed sooner.
“The population has grown tremendously on Johns Island, said Rich Thomas, a Johns Island resident. "You get a lot of cut through traffic coming down River Road in the mornings and afternoons going back out 17, and it’s becoming a huge problem. People sit at this light here in the mornings for 5 to 10 minutes. It backs up a half mile to a mile on Maybank. In the morning, it backs up on River Road for a long ways, and that can be fixed.”
Charleston County officials said the new traffic signal planned for the intersection is more advanced and will give project leaders the opportunity to improve the timing of the light even more.