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Highway 17: Two traffic signals included in final Pawleys median plan

By Jackie R. Broach
Coastal Observer

plan that puts new traffic signals at the Pawleys Island Post Office and between Hotel Drive and Jetty Drive has been selected for a project that will close the paved median on Highway 17 from the North Causeway to Baskervill Drive.

Construction is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2014.

The S.C. Department of Transportation announced its choice on Tuesday. The plan is a modified version of one of three alternatives that were presented to the public for comments in April.

Two of the proposals called for a new stoplight at the Post Office, but one would have put the second stoplight between Hinnant Lane and Cannan Shore Road, and the other would have put it at Parkersville Road.

The final option called for one new traffic signal, between Tiller Drive and Center Lane.

The plan was created based on public input. It still has to go through further evaluation during the environmental process, which is under way, according to information from Leah Quattlebaum, program manager at the S.C. Department of Transportation.

In addition to the new stoplights, the plan calls for median breaks at Whipporwill Lane in front of Waverly Place shopping center, Professional Lane, the Village Shops, the Hammock Shops, Berry Tree Drive in front of Plantation Federal Bank, between Cannan Shore Road and Hinnant Lane, and at Coachman Drive, Brown Pelican Loop, the stop light at Martin Luther King Road, Pathfinder Lane, Archer Road and Baskervill Drive.

DOT received 81 comments from the public after its last public meeting. About 70 attended that meeting, at Waccamaw Elementary School, where the alternatives were presented in April.

Of comments received, the two options that included a traffic light at the post office were the most preferred, each receiving favor from 14 people.

Four preferred the third option that called for one stoplight.

Three comments were “in general agreement with the project with no alternate preference specified,” Quattlebaum said. Eight comments were in general opposition to the project and 38 were concerned with limiting access to Baskervill Road.

“Many of the comments also suggested moving one of the proposed lights to the Hotel Drive and Jetty Drive intersection,” Quattlebaum said. “Based on comments and traffic analysis, a modified alternate 2 was selected as the preferred concept. The significant modifications that were made include moving the light from Hinnant Drive to Hotel Drive and adding left turn access onto Baskervill Drive.”

The median project is estimated to cost $2.5 million. Georgetown County Council has already passed a resolution in favor of Phase 2, which would close the median between the causeways.

The plan is available online and a printed version is on hand in the Georgetown County Planning Department.

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