West Ashley Circle expected to open March 2016

Published: Dec. 22, 2015 at 10:46 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 22, 2015 at 10:54 PM EST
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WEST ASHLEY, SC (WCSC) - The weather Tuesday and the rush in holiday shopping hasn't made it easy to get around Charleston, especially for those in West Ashley.

The area near the intersection of Bees Ferry Road and Glenn McConnell Parkway has been under construction for over a year now.

It's part of the West Ashley Circle project to try and reduce traffic congestion.

2014 traffic numbers from the Berkeley, Charleston, Dorchester Council of Governments show between 14,000 and 27,000 cars drive this stretch of Glenn McConnell Parkway and Bees Ferry Road each day.

A majority of construction was finished in September, but now County officials say it may not open until March.

"[We] had to order some decorative mast arm signals and there was a delay time in that," said Charleston County Transportation Construction Project Manager, Devri Detoma.

While it's a bit of a setback, many who drive in this area are excited.

"It will be wonderful because traffic out here has gotten out of control," said Lia Sanders, of Hollywood.

Cars will be able to drive in both directions around the circle, but won't be able to fully complete that ring.

"You won't be able to cross Glenn McConnell," Detoma said.

It's what's going into that circle that many people West of the Ashley are curious about.

The city of Charleston said plans have been submitted for a new shopping center to go in the northern half of the circle.

Office spaces, shops, and restaurants have also been suggested.

"Maybe locally owned shops would be nice, instead of the just the big Walmart chains and that kind of thing," Sanders suggested.

"Definitely restaurants or small businesses right there would be nice," added Matthew Johnson, of West Ashley.

"It feels like a lot of people travel to other areas of Charleston, so it would be nice to have something local," said Rachel, of West Ashley.

The $7-million project has been in the works for several years.

It's being funded by Charleston County's half-percent transportation sales tax.

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