On the Road to Renovation


Bumper-to-bumper traffic. Credit: https://www.counton2.com/news/local-news/mcmaster-requesting-scdot-to-develop-two-way-traffic-plan-on-wando-bridge/1185277529

Sierra Wilson

South Carolina’s roads are a minefield of potholes, cracking asphalt, and bumper-to-bumper traffic. Drivers wait in a never-ending line of cars, growing more agitated by the second, narrowly avoiding damage to their vehicles. Renovations are behind and the workers seem to be smelling the roses rather than working efficiently.

Take Delemar Highway, for example. Before the decision to improve Delemar Highway was made, the road was brutal. According to Mrs. Butler, a math teacher at ARHS who has lived in Summerville all her life, the road had so many potholes that drivers, including teachers, would blow out their tires.

Construction began in late 2013 with a plan to build a five-lane highway complete with bicycle lanes and sidewalks (Patch). For a rural part of town that was beginning to explode with activity, news of the improvements was a relief.

However, the construction took about four years to do. To construction workers, it wasn’t a long time. In fact, it was average. To the public, it seemed like a never-ending project. It increased traffic and put a strain on high school kids and buses trying to get to school on time.

It doesn’t stop at Delemar Highway, however.

Dorchester Road is another one of many roads in need of renovations. Traffic is miserable and can sometimes stretch from the intersection with Ladson Road all the way to Harris Teeter or even farther. Rush hour is the last thing anyone would want to be caught in.

Mrs. Butler says, “Things are better, but there are still issues. Even coming in from North Charleston down Dorchester, I’m either leaving before 3:30pm or staying until after like, 6:30pm.” All of this just to avoid traffic.

On top of this, potholes are a huge issue. They are unwanted sores and parts of the road are cracking, creating a bumpy and sometimes dangerous drive. Crashes are prone to occur, especially at the intersection of Ladson Road and Trolley Road. According to Journal Scene, there have been nearly 500 crashes from 2011 to 2014.

There is talk of improving this issue. Workers plan to raise the median to prohibit left turns, which is how most of the crashes occur. They will also make driveways in the area a right-in or right-out. There will be dedicated right-turn lanes on Trolley Road and Ladson Road to reduce traffic.

They will also extend the left turn lane from Dorchester Road to Ladson Road. Finally, the right-turn island on Ladson Road will be removed, forcing drivers to stop in an effort to prevent crashes (Journal Scene).

These plans are still in the works and may not happen for a while. Once again, crucial improvements are pushed to the back burner. “Other than the immediate improvements they’ve done to like, Delemar or Bacon’s Bridge,” Mrs. Butler doesn’t see any changes made in the near future.

It’s simple: South Carolina’s roads need improvements. Potholes have become drivers worst enemies and traffic is a living nightmare. Workers need to step up their game if there is any hope of seeing change in the future.