Plans move forward on intersection safety project

by | May 16, 2019 5:00 am

Last Updated: May 15, 2019 at 10:16 am

Plans to improve the safety and flow of traffic at the intersection of Jefferies Highway-Academy Drive-Tuskegee Airman Drive are nearing the next hurdle and will require some work on relocating a city water line.
At Walterboro City Council’s May 7 council session, Carolina Tap & Bore, Inc. of West Columbia, was selected to receive a $183,765 contract to handle the relocation of a six-inch water line.
The awarding of the contract to the company will be contingent upon South Carolina Department of Transportation’s approval.
The current state budget contains a provision for the state to cover the cost of relocating public utilities for SCDOT-funded transportation projects.
Under the plan SCDOT will reimburse the city for the relocation costs, as well as the $22,383 the city paid for the engineering on the relocation plan.
Colleton County Engineer Carla Harvey said the South Carolina Department of Transportation is expected to seek bids on the estimated $2.5 million project in August.
The Colleton County Transportation Committee is supplying $1.7 million of the anticipated cost with the remaining $800,000 coming from the SCDOT.
The intersection improvement project will provide dedicated left turn lanes at all approaches. Overall, the intersection area will be widened to achieve the extra lanes.
The Tuskegee Airmen approach currently has a dedicated left turn lane, so this approach will only require a realignment to match the new Academy Road lanes.
The signals will also be upgraded to allow for advance left turns.
Harvey said both the city and Colleton County School District are benefitting from the state provision that provides reimbursement of public utilities.
Earlier this year, the school district approved issuing a contact to relocate the water lines that provide the water service for the high school.
The necessary relocations of Dominion Energy South Carolina, Coastal Electric and PRTC will all be completed at the expense of the utility.
Harvey said she anticipates some of that relocation work will get started ahead of the SCDOT bid date.
Harvey said “this project has been in the works since the CTC initiated the project with SCDOT back in 2013 in regards to safety. We are all anxious to get this project completed as it benefits not only the school traffic at this intersection, but also the community as a whole.”
Colleton County officials, the Colleton County School District, the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office, the Colleton County Transportation Committee, and the City of Walterboro have worked to see the safety improvement project move forward, Harvey added.

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