Berkeley County updates residents on phase two of Clements Ferry widening project at April 27 “drop-in” meeting
By Charlie Morrison
The last half-decade has born witness to a continuous debate between elected officials, South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) officials and members of the Daniel Island, Cainhoy and Clements Ferry Road communities over the future of highly-trafficked Clements Ferry Rd. With discussion of phase one of the project completed, plans made, and construction underway, the attention of Berkeley County and the public has shifted to the second phase of the project.
The plan will build on the first phase of the project widening Clements Ferry Rd. from two to four lanes for the 4.5 miles from the Clements Ferry’s intersection with Jack Primus Rd. all the way to the eastern end of the roadway where it meets S.C Hwy. 41. In addition to widening the road from two to four lanes, the project plans call for a center two-way left-turn lane or raised landscaped median, intersection improvements and the creation of a shared-use bicycle and pedestrian path, which will line the extent of the roadway.
In that vein, Berkeley County invited the community to attend a public meeting held last Thursday, April 27 to present the proposed project design. Attendees to the drop-in style meeting were invited to view various displays of the proposed construction plan where they could speak to County and consultant representatives who were on hand and additionally submit their comments on the project plans to the County on the proposed plan, which is still subject to change.
Comments can be emailed to Berkeley County Public Information Officer Hannah Moseley or submitted by mail (see addresses at end of story) until the cut-off day of May 11, but hat didn’t stop many community members from expressing themselves at the meeting.
“You think it’s a good thing going to be about convenience along with the expansion we have lots of opportunities I’ve been here 30 years and I’ve seen so much change,” said area resident Jackie Alston. “Change is always resisted, people get used to the way things are and that’s just human nature, but times change.”
Fellow Cainhoy longtime resident Sybil Mitchell agreed, but felt the planners of the project needed to do more to make that change palatable to locals. “Change is inevitable but how it is done matters,” said Mitchell. “You have to take into account how the people are living in the community presently and what are those changes are going to do to impact the lives of those people.”
“It’s a rural area, so I think it would have been nice for them to incorporate as part of the design the feel and spirit of the area,” she continued. “So, you have the expansion in terms of change but you also maintain the flavor of the community I promise you if they had done that it would have won awards all over the place.
For other are members, the change the widening of Clements Ferry Rd. represents is a long time coming. For them, the road’s safety is the prime factor. The SCDOT currently estimates that over 14,000 cars use the road per day, but of that number a large percentage are industrial vehicles and semi-trucks.
“The road is dangerous you’ve got trucks and cars going side by side and it’s just not safe,” said Sammy Sanders, a 56-year resident of Clements Ferry Rd. “Something has to be done it’s just that it should be done in a way that respects our future.”
“That road is waiting for someone to get killed,” said Jim Hasbrouck who serves as President of the nearby River Reach Point neighborhood association.
Another official public meeting for the proposed $36 million project is slated for later this year, with right-of-way acquisition set to take place beginning in 2018 and construction to begin in late 2019.
Citizens interested in submitting a comment on the proposed plan may do so by emailing Berkeley County Public Information Officer Hannah Moseley directly at Hannah.email@example.com. For more information on the phase two plan to widen Clements Ferry Rd. see Berkeley County’s dedicated project website at www.berkeleycountysc.gov/drupal/engineering/onecent/clemferry2