Maybank Highway Improvements
Issue # 1
Congestion on Maybank Highway and Stono River Bridge
There are two key factors contributing to this daily traffic jam coming onto the island. 1.) The merge-point coming off of the Stono River Bridge. 2.) The inadequate intersection at Maybank Highway and River Road.
Solution: Better intersections and additional lanes
Charleston County will widen Maybank Highway between River Road and the Stono River Bridge. There will be two lanes on to the island and one lane off of the island. Crews are currently surveying the area and expect to begin road construction by January of 2017. This will eliminate the merge-point coming onto the island.
Developers and the County are constructing "pitch-forks" between River Road and the Stono River Bridge. These additional two-lane roads will run parallel to Maybank Highway and connect to River Road. This will disperse traffic and reduce the congestion at Maybank Highway and River Road.
Construction on the northern pitch-folk could begin in 2017.
The southern pitch-fork is the only current plan to reduce congestion leaving the island.There is no timeline for construction on the Southern pitch-fork, but we must expedite this process.
Current Action Items:
#1 - Complete southern pitch-fork before 2018
This will further reduce the congestion at Maybank and River by allowing those traveling south on River Road (toward Kiawah) to take this alternative route.
#2 - Improve the intersection at River Road and Maybank Highway
The current projects do not address the congestion leaving the Island. We feel this intersection is a major issue on Johns Island, and will continue to be the most congested area. All options for this intersection should be explored.
Note: Roundabouts reduce traffic delays by 20% and 80% and reduce fatal accidents by 90%. More Information
#3 - On-street parking and a center turn-lane in urban areas along Maybank Highway (between River Road and Main Road)
This was part of the comprehensive plan for Maybank Highway until funds were suddenly shifted to other projects in the County. A dedicated turn-lane is critical for improving traffic flow, while on-street parking is important to slow traffic and improve pedestrian safety.
#4 - Ask the County to coordinate residential and commercial building standards along Maybank Highway
Maybank Highway will soon become our "downtown," and it must be developed thoughtfully. We do not want another Folly Road or Savannah Highway on Johns Island.
#5 - Improve road connectivity within the urban growth boundary
Connectivity and route options are the only way to reduce traffic congestion in the long term. A good road network disperses vehicles to many roads, instead forcing everyone onto a single "collector" road - such as Highway 17 in Mount Pleasant or Folly Road on James Island. Furthermore, alternate routes give drivers an opportunity to avoid traffic congestion when it does occur. We will ask the City and the County to study how our existing road network can be improved quickly.
Project Resources and Contacts:
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