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Study outlines $53 million worth of upgrades for Highway 17 in Georgetown County – Florence, South Carolina

Florence, South Carolina 2021-07-05 10:51:56 –

Georgetown County, South Carolina (WBTW) — Sales taxes, impact fees, various state and federal grant programs, and even toll roads, in a study recommending more than $ 53 million for increased safety and other improvements. One of the funding ideas mentioned. Along the busy section of Highway 17 in northern Georgetown County.

The· US17 Corridor SurveyConducted for the Grand Strand Area Transportation Study by AECOM, a consulting firm based in Columbia, South Carolina, completed in December. This includes recommendations for short-term, medium-term, and long-term projects up to 2040, announced at a public conference at the Murrels Inlet Community Center from 5 pm to 7 pm on July 14. I will.

The study focuses on the 19-mile section of Highway 17, just north of Hobcar Road, to the Highway 17 Bypass near the Georgetown and Holly County Lines, a traditional, costly and environmentally friendly section. Recommended a solution that goes beyond road widening.

Upgrades are “very important” as authorities address safety concerns and keep up with continued growth, said Daniel Newquist, transport program coordinator for the Wackamau Regional Government Council.

The average daily traffic during the peak summer season varies from 30,500 vehicles per day at the southern end to 47,400 vehicles at the northern end, according to a summary of a survey of traffic patterns and traffic from 2016 to 2018. did. Studies show that these numbers are expected to increase to 46,200 and 71,900, respectively, by 2040.

The study also found 1,133 crashes, including seven fatal ones. According to research, about half of these conflicts were rear-end collisions related to access control, congestion, and speed violations.

According to the survey, the goal is to maintain access to businesses and maintain traffic flow while providing safe access to cyclists and pedestrians. One safety proposal for a $ 2.5 million worth of short-term project listed in the study will extend the signal timing system along the northernmost tip of the freeway.

“We want to bring it north of Brook Green Gardens and north of Murrel’s Inlet,” Newquist said. “Currently, it’s located in the Corridor’s Pauly’s Island and Richfield areas, where it works.”

The study also recommends building “low-collision intersections” where side road drivers cannot turn left or go straight. Instead, they would have to turn right and continue in that direction until they turned safely, the study said.

“RCI provides two-phase signal operation as opposed to traditional eight-phase intersections,” the study states. “The combination of this improved signal tuning and access control can reduce the frequency of start and stop and reduce crashes.”

Among the financing options mentioned in the survey is a 1% sales tax in Georgetown County. The county had similar taxes between 2014 and 2019.

“The tax raised $ 41 million and was for a variety of projects, including road paving,” the study said. “If we can get this 1% excise tax back, we could be a major contributor to supporting the county’s transportation infrastructure needs.”

“There is some potential for sales tax,” says Newquist. “The RIDE program has benefited significantly in Holly County.”

The program was funded from sales tax on all retail sales, accommodation, and a 1-cent capital project on prepared foods and beverages. Approved by voters in 2016, the tax raises $ 592 million over eight years to fund 20 different road projects, according to the county’s website.

In addition to state and federal grants, the Highway 17 survey increased the likelihood of impact fees and used tax increases and improved districts at the local level. “It’s very unlikely for this type of corridor,” Newquist said, as it’s usually a road built as an interstate highway, but the study also highlighted the idea of ​​a temporary toll road. It was.

“Public-private partnerships are becoming more popular across the country, basically involving private organizations that build roads and improve corridors in exchange for the right to collect tolls in the corridors for a specific period of time. “The study said. “Public-private partnerships for projects in the 17th Corridor of the United States may not be straightforward, but tremendous innovation is taking place across the country, and smaller projects are now funded by public-private partnerships.”

The study prioritized 12 medium-term projects, which cost about $ 25.1 million, and three “long-term” projects, which cost about $ 25.7 million. Below is a list of the top 10 projects with recommended priorities.

  1. US17 at Burgess Road Quadrant (Intermediate, $ 4.2 million)
  2. US 17 Smalls Loop Road to Island Shops Access Management (Intermediate, $ 4.6 million)
  3. US17 (Intermediate, $ 2.4 Million) in Improving Safety for Richfield Drives and Country Club Drives
  4. US 17 Willbrook Boulevard / Retreat Beach Cir Competitive Intersection Reduction (Intermediate, $ 1.8 Million)
  5. US17 (Intermediate, $ 2.7 million) from Pendergrass Avenue to Wacheso Road RCI
  6. US 17 expands to 6 lanes from Bellamy Avenue to Burgess Road (long term, $ 12.5 million)
  7. Waverly Road Single Lane Roundabout Kings River Road (Intermediate, $ 2 Million)
  8. US17 (Intermediate, $ 1.4 million) between Sandy Island Road and Wesley Road S.RCI
  9. US17 (Intermediate, $ 800,000) between Prince George Road and Colony U-Turn Lane
  10. Kings River Road signal and US17 on U-turn lane (intermediate, $ 730,000)

“I would like to encourage people to continue our visit website Look at the study, “said Newquist. “We look forward to having a direct public meeting on the 14th.th Helps answer questions. “

Study outlines $53 million worth of upgrades for Highway 17 in Georgetown County Source link Study outlines $53 million worth of upgrades for Highway 17 in Georgetown County

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