SCDOT in early stages of safety improvement project at South Lake Drive and Pleasant View - Bethany
Edmund, SC (Paul Kirby) The SCDOT is in the very early stages of a project that they hope will make the crossroad intersection at Bethany Church Road, Pleasant View, and South Lake Drives safer. According to Robert Power, district construction engineer for Lexington County out of the West Columbia office, some clearing has already started so that utility companies will be able to access their infrastructure in the area and relocate it if necessary. Surveying is also underway on the project.
Power says that two left turn lanes will be added to South Lake Drive, one in each direction, so that people trying to turn on either Bethany Church Road or Pleasant View Drive will not stop the flow of traffic on the main highway. In addition to that, instead of the standard flashing caution lights that are currently installed at the intersection, there will be a new type installed. This new system will constantly flash red on the side streets but will have wire loops installed in the pavement in those directions. When a vehicle begins to approach South Lake from the side streets, they will run across the looped wires and activate the yellow caution lights that will begin to flash on the main highway. These will be attached to signs that advise the drivers that cross traffic is approaching. Power says he thinks this is the first system of its type to be installed in the state.
This intersection has been a dangerous one for many years. There are frequent accidents that happen at that crossing, and in the past, several have proven fatal. Although some have called for a traffic light to be installed, these lights can often solve one problem and cause another. In a meeting with citizens last year, a senior engineer from the SCDOT explained that traffic signals may reduce crossing accidents but will often increase the instances of rear end collisions.
Power said that we will probably not see any significant construction prior to the fall of this year. In the interim, utility companies will be relocating their wires, poles, and other infrastructure. The contractor has a completion deadline of November 30, 2018.