Safety improvements planned for part of Dorchester Road in Summerville


Safety improvements are in the works for a stretch of Dorchester Road in Summerville between Trolley Road and Ladson Road because of hundreds of accidents in the last few years.

“Dorchester Road throughout the years has gotten more and more congested,” Jeff Cook who lives and works in the area, said. “It’s more traffic into the stores and businesses but because there's more traffic on the roads we see an increase in accidents.”

The South Carolina Department of Transportation hired Stantec Engineering to do a study of the area and found between 2011-14, 473 crashes were reported along Dorchester Road between Trolley Road and Ladson Road and 113 of those were considered severe.

“Those numbers flagged the DOT safety office,” said Town of Summerville Engineer and Director of Public Works, Russ Cornette. “The purpose and goals of this project are to improve safety and reduce the accidents.”

The idea is to put in a raised median where the current center turn lane is so no one can turn left.

“It will actually enhance traffic itself,” Cornette said. “Without those left turn movements, traffic will flow a lot smoother in that corridor and the congestion we experience today should improve.”

Cook added he’s glad they are trying to make the area safer and believes others will be too once they get used to the change.

“At first the people may be frustrated with the medians but I think over time when people get used to it they’re going to be able to understand it will cause traffic to move through this area at a faster pace,” he added.

The project is expected to be completed in about two years and Cornette said SCDOT will fully fund the work.

Officials from the SCDOT will be at a public meeting on July 17 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Oakbrook Elementary School to talk about the project. 

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