Beaufort County proposes safety study for U.S. Highway 278 - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Beaufort County proposes safety study for U.S. Highway 278

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BEAUFORT CO., SC (WTOC) -

There have been many terrible crashes and traffic jams in one of our communities in the last two months, but is the road to blame? There is a proposed safety study set for U.S. Highway 278 to answer that question.

The State of South Carolina said it's not unusual to have a lot of crashes with the type of Highway 278 is now with six lanes, but the number of crashes is still pretty high on a state level.

While the ride down Highway 278 might be smooth, is it a safe one? Beaufort County is asking the state for help in determining if anything can be done about a recent rash of wrecks.

"We don't ever pull out of here and say ‘oh my gosh, that's whatever intersection, this one's going to be a bad one,'" said Bluffton Township Fire District Capt. Randy Hunter.

The Bluffton Fire District responds to most, if not all, wrecks,like a the deadly one on Highway 278 and Buck Island Road a little over a month ago. Hunter said sometimes there's no reason people crash.

"There's a lot of factors that play into any type of call," Hunter said. "You know, we run more structure fires in the summertime due to lightning strikes. Does that mean it's unsafe in the summertime here? No."

Hunter showed WTOC the number of motor vehicle wrecks in 2013 versus 2014, and so far, the numbers are on track for less crashes this year.

"Unfortunate that there's been a rash of recent accidents, but 3, 4, 5 accidents do not necessarily prove that there's a case of design flaw on the highway," said Bluffton resident and former Director of Marketing and Community Affairs at Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Brian Cudahy,

The state hasn't hired a contractor yet to complete the study, but once they do, and if it will impact traffic, WTOC will let you know, as well as the results of the study.

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