Work began last week on the Isle of Palms Connector widening and intersection improvement project. Construction should be complete by May 2014. The project is funded by the Charleston County Transportation Sales Tax and managed by Charleston County Government, in close coordination with the Town of Mount Pleasant.
The connector is also referred to as South Carolina Highway 517 and bears the official name of “Clyde Moultrie Dangerfield Highway.” It connects US 17 in Mount Pleasant with South Carolina Highway 703 on the Isle of Palms. Construction of the Connector Bridge began in October 199O and was completed during the spring of 1993.
Official talk of an Isle of Palms connector began in 1973 when local, state and federal agencies met to discuss improving traffic service. Debate continued to flare throughout 1977 as concerned citizens and state and federal representatives discussed the economic, residential and environmental outcomes.
The project will widen the Isle of Palms Connector to accommodate additional through lanes in each direction as well as improvements at the Rifle Range Road intersection to improve congestion of daily traffic. The project area runs from U.S. 17 North to Riviera Drive in Mount Pleasant.
Construction crews and equipment will work during daytime hours, but the contractor is only permitted to close a lane of traffic between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. to reduce the impact on drivers. The work zones will be marked by orange traffic barrels and signs to alert drivers before they approach these areas.
Be prepared to see equipment along the shoulder of the road while crews relocate/remove some of the existing trees along the route that cannot be maintained in their current location.
Next, construction equipment will begin installing the necessary storm drainage system along with the removal and replacement of concrete sidewalks and curbs.
During February, heavy equipment will begin to move soil to construct the road shoulders and place asphalt to widen the road.
The final pavement overlay, stoplight installation and pavement marking is expected to be concluded in April and May.
•The work will include 1.3 miles of improvements including the widening of the Isle of Palms Connector in Mount Pleasant.
•Two through lanes will be constructed in each direction from U.S. Highway 17 to just east of Riviera Drive.
•Left and right turn lanes will be installed at each of the four intersections along the length of the project.
•The existing multi-use paths and sidewalks will be maintained and the road widening will include 4-foot paved shoulders for cyclists who prefer riding on the street.
•To maintain the existing avenue of live oak trees, 37 trees will remain in place, 16 trees will be relocated on site and 82 new trees will be planted. At completion, there will be 16 more trees along the route than are currently planted.
Visit the official website at http://roads.charlestoncounty.org for public meeting notices and up-to-date news and information about all Charleston County Transportation Sales Tax road projects. Call (843) 202-6154.