Proposed improvements to James Island intersection worries residents

Published: Nov. 19, 2013 at 11:58 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 20, 2013 at 12:54 AM EST
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JAMES ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - There could soon be major road work on a James Island intersection the South Carolina Department of Transportation calls dangerous.

The SCDOT plans to ask the community for input Thursday on how to improve Camp Road at Riverland Drive.

The department wants to put in a roundabout at the intersection.

Some people living in the Riverland Crossing neighborhood aren't looking forward to the changes.

Wayne Andrus lives near the proposed roundabout and said, "This is very detrimental to our neighborhood. It'll hurt home value, it'll hurt the quiet life we have here and it's not needed."

A buffer of trees separates Andrus' backyard from the busy traffic on Riverland Drive.

The property of Andrus and his neighbors are only feet away from where the roundabout may go.

"SCDOT is going to move that roundabout so it impacts severely the people on the corner, the drainage for our neighborhood, the light pollution, the noise pollution into our neighborhood," said Andrus.

Keith Riddle, Safety Project Engineer for the SCDOT says their goal is to lower the number of crashes at the intersection.

Riddle said, "The predominate crash pattern there in the last few years has been right angle crashes. Right angle crashes are predominately very severe."

Right now the intersection has three stop signs and Riddle says a lot of the accidents happen as people turn left from Riverland onto Camp.

Riddle said, "Roundabouts are very effective at reducing these types of crashes."

According to Riddle over the course of eight years there have been roughly 29 accidents and 11 of those involved injuries.

Andrus says he doesn't believe the data.

"It's unbelievable. Where is the truth? My wife has looked into all of the data, you can get all that through freedom of information and when you see where some of those accidents have occurred, they haven't even occurred around there."

Riddle says the SCDOT is still working on the design, but says the roundabout will be able to accommodate tractor trailers.

"It's definitely the wrong approach. It's definitely too big for this area," said Andrus.

Andrus and his neighbors are hoping for an alternative plan and they say they will be vocal at the public meeting Thursday.

The public hearing will take place Thursday evening from 5 to 7 at the Fort Johnson Middle School.

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