Sidewalks being considered on Charleston Highway | News | The Press and Standard

by | February 4, 2016 5:00 pm

Last Updated: February 3, 2016 at 1:33 pm

Public comments being accepted on sidewalk project on Charleston Highway.

By GEORGE SALSBERRY
gsalsberry@lowcountry.com
A plan under consideration by the South Carolina Department of Transportation would get Colleton County on the path to transforming last year’s comprehensive Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan into reality.
SCDOT is seeking public comments on its proposal to dedicate approximately $400,000 in sidewalk improvements on Charleston Highway and Widgeon Street.
The project was one of eight projects SCDOT listed from funding in this fiscal year’s Transportation Alternates Program.
SCDOT’s plans for the intersection, located just outside the Walterboro city limits, would involve installation of ADA compliant sidewalks and pedestrian ramps along Charleston Highway from Peurifoy Road to Widgeon Street and on Widgeon Street, from Hampton Street to Fourth Street.
Colleton County Planning Director Phillip Slayter said  the project would be the first project undertaken based on the results of the study.
Slayter and the Colleton Transportation Committee submitted the proposal to SCDOT and said he is excited to see the state signing off on the plan.
“There are a lot of people walking up and down Charleston Highway, especially in the morning,” Slayter said. The installation of sidewalks and handicapped ramps would address both safety and accessibility issues for residents in the area.
Basically, Slayter said, the federal highway funds will cover the work on Charleston Highway and the matching funds provided by the county’s transportation committee would be used to install the sidewalk on Widgeon Street. That sidewalk would serve the residents of the housing subdivision in that area.
He added that local officials determined the installation of the sidewalk on Widgeon Street would be a good companion project to the paving plans in that area.
Slayter pointed out that while planned work on the Charleston Highway and Widgeon Street is the first project undertaken based on the master plan, two other sidewalk improvement projects in the city were also detailed in the master plan.
The current sidewalk construction underway on South Jefferies Highway as part of the city’s I-95 business loop plan, and the work soon to start on the intersection safety improvements at Bells Highway and Mount Carmel Road, were both listed in the master plan. But Slayter said those improvements were already on the drawing board when the master plan was developed.
Slayter said he envisions the county making future applications to obtain more of the Transportation Alternatives Program federal funds for other projects outlined in the master plan. The biggest challenge for the county will be finding sources for the matching funds that would have to be provided.
No local tax dollars are being used in the project currently collecting public comments, and Slayter believes there are other state and federal grant programs that can be used to provide the local match for future projects.
Comments on the Charleston Highway-Widgeon Street construction plans will be accepted by SCDOT until the close of business on Feb. 11 and should be forwarded to Vivian Patterson, Public Involvement Manager, and SCDOT Office of Planning, 955 Park Street, P.O. Box 191, Columbia, S.C. 29202 or pattersovm@scdot.org.
Formerly known as the Transportation Enhancement Program, the Transportation Alternatives Program is a federally funded program that is administered by SCDOT and provides local governments an opportunity to pursue non-traditional, transportation related activities such as pedestrian facilities, bicycle facilities and street scaping.

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