James Island, S.C. (WCBD)- A new roundabout could be built in James Island. Tonight, County Council is set to discuss the future improvements for Riverland Drive and Central Park Road.
The South Carolina Department of Transportation initiated this project in 2010 with the intent to add a traffic signal. Since the original plan required 12 oak trees to be removed, the project was put on hold until 2015.
Charleston County Transportation Development says when the project re-entered the design process in 2018, the intersection improvements needed to meet newly instated design criteria and accommodate updated traffic data.
Last year, eight alternatives were identified as reasonable improvements for the intersection. They were studied and ranked on screening factors like pedestrian safety, school safety, and impact to oak trees.
On Thursday, the County Finance Committee voted to move forward with alternative three, an elongated roundabout. The vote comes after County Council held a public comment period last month to gather feedback about two proposed alternatives. Fifty-three percent of 491 respondents voted in favor of an elongated roundabout. This is a big difference from the first public comment period held in 2018 where seventy-five percent of the 307 voters wanted the roundabout.
Voters were also asked to rank a list of factors in order of importance. The results are listed below:
47% improved safety
21% improved traffic flow
14% minimized property impacts
9% anti -traffic light
5% minimize tree impacts
If approved, the elongated roundabout is expected to cost roughly 4.6 million dollars and be funded through the 2016 half-cent sales tax.