DOT asks commuters to help solve congestion issues

Staff Report
Published Sept. 6, 2011

The S.C. Department of Transportation is asking the thousands of drivers and passengers who travel daily along the Mark Clark Expressway for ideas on solving traffic congestion problems.

Commuters travel down Interstate 26 in North Charleston. (Photo/File)
Commuters travel down Interstate 26 in North Charleston. (Photo/File)
The DOT is primarily looking at the Rivers Avenue merge in North Charleston and the U.S. Highway 17 interchange in West Ashley. The DOT also wants to include the Interstate 26 and Interstate 526 interchange in the discussions over congestion.

“The I-526 corridor between Rivers Avenue in North Charleston and U.S. 17 in West Ashley is one of the State’s busiest corridors, and local growth in the area, due in part to expansions by Boeing, the international airport, and the S.C. State Ports Authority, are going to make it busier,” the S.C. Department of Transportation said in a news release.

A meeting, scheduled for 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Sept. 20 at North Charleston City Hall, includes a 15-minute presentation with an overview of the study. A discussion will follow where attendees can have one-on-one discussions with the I-526 Corridor Analysis team to share ideas.

The study will consider how to deal with existing and future congestion issues in the Charleston area, including options such as travel demand management strategies, opportunities for shifting traffic to other modes of travel, low-cost traffic operations improvements and capacity improvement projects.

The public meeting is one of the next steps in collecting information for the study. Daily and peak-hour traffic counts have been taken as the first part of data collection, and origin-destination studies are being used to understand where drivers are traveling in and out of the study corridor.

DOT has hired a team of engineers led by Stantec Consulting Inc. in North Charleston to study the I-526 Corridor and develop a menu of options for addressing congestion at different funding levels.

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Added: 6 Sep 2011

The I-526 freeway needs to be completed, period. Then we need a new expressway coming from Hwy 17N near Santee to connect with I-526 near Daniel Island. Additional lanes need to be planned for the next 10 years to I-526 and a new on ramp planned for the junction of I-26 and I-526. Current set up is much too dangerous, inadequate for the amount of traffic already using it, and totally a bottleneck for the future of this county. US 17 South should be made into expressway style with feeder roads along the side for local traffic. Or better yet, a new expressway with limited access to I-95 from Charleston. How about doing what WVa does! Let's make these roads Toll Roads. They have the best highway system in the country.