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Road work: County changes directions on intersections

By Charles Swenson
Coastal Observer

A plan to align the entrance of Litchfield Country Club with the traffic light at Litchfield Drive is off the list of area road projects. Georgetown County will ask instead that $764,000 in state funds earmarked for the project be used to improve the intersection of Waverly Road and Petigru Drive.

“We were going to lose the money if we didn’t do something,” said County Council Member John Thomas.

The projects are included in the Grand Strand Area Transportation Study. A committee representing local governments sets the priorities for spending funds from the state Department of Transportation in the region.

The Litchfield Country Club project involved a land swap with Myrtle Beach National. The company sold its property at the country club this year. That further complicated a project that some country club residents opposed because they didn’t want to lose a landscaped entrance.

One proposal would have taken country club traffic through the Litchfield Village shopping center. Another would have moved the Litchfield Drive intersection north to align with Country Club Drive.

“There were too many moving parts,” Mark Hoeweler, senior staff member for the transportation study, said.

The county has $490,000 in its capital improvement plan budget for the intersection of Waverly and Petigru. The area already handles school traffic, and the consolidation of the median on Highway 17 is expected to put more traffic on Petigru between Waverly and Martin Luther King Road.

The immediate problem is that Waverly and Petigru don’t meet at right angles.

“The word ‘roundabout’ did come up in conversation,” Thomas said.

The county has considered a roundabout for Willbrook Boulevard as part of a plan to improve access to Waccamaw Intermediate and Waccamaw Middle schools. It hired a consultant to study the traffic and make recommendations.

That roundabout now seems less likely. Among the several options presented by the consultant are a simple left turn from Wildcat Way onto Willbrook – it’s currently right-in, right-out – and a traffic signal at Sandy Island Road, Thomas said.

The most expensive option would create a new road from Wildcat Way east to the Boyle Drive intersection, which already has a traffic light.

The county is waiting on a final recommendation from the consultant before presenting the idea to the public.

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