DOT proposed expansion concerns town
The South Carolina Department of Transportation’s proposed expansion and rerouting of the intersection of Oakley Road and Highway 52 in Moncks Corner has the town and Mayor Bill Peagler worried.
At last week’s Moncks Corner Town Council meeting, Peagler said he is concerned with the lack of communication between the town and the DOT as well as the proposed layout of the new intersection.
“It’s not that difficult to get in touch with me or anyone on our staff,” the mayor said. “I don’t like it when I’m asked a question about a problem with something in town and I don’t know anything about it.”
According to a presentation by the SCDOT’s Mark Nesbit, due to the high number of injury related accidents occurring at the intersection, the SCDOT has proposed the installation of a “J-Turn” intersection at Oakley Road and Hwy. 52.
“Drivers seeking to cross Hwy. 52 will make a right hand turn, then merge into the immediate left turn lane and make a J-turn,” said Nesbit, a District 6 traffic engineer with SCDOT.
“A J-turn intersection is more cost effective than installing a traffic light?” Peagler asked. “This seems like an awful lot of work and trouble to go through when you can install a traffic light at the intersection.”
Nesbit said the J-turn design and its approximate $600,000 price tag would be more cost effective in the long term, as a traffic light will eventually require maintenance and replacement. The J-turn intersection is virtually maintenance free and is favored by SCDOT District 1 Commissioner Jim Rozier.
“The J-turn design provides the motorist with a safer means of accessing Hwy. 52 and traversing the intersection,” Nesbit said. “It has been successfully implemented in other states and the concept provides a low-capital investment alternative at intersections to improve traffic flow and enhance safety.”
According to Nesbit, the J-turn eliminates the left‐turn through movements from the side‐street approaches, while accommodating those drivers with an option to turn right onto the main road and then make a U-turn maneuver at a median opening downstream.
Left turns from the main road approaches are executed in a manner similar to left‐turns at a conventional intersection and are unaffected.