County Proposes Widening Diamond Causeway - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

04/01/05

County Proposes Widening Diamond Causeway

The scene of Wednesday's fatal wreck. The scene of Wednesday's fatal wreck.

Following Wednesday's fatal wreck, Chatham County commissioners say the Diamond Causeway is just too dangerous. So they're doing something about it. They unanimously passed an emergency resolution to improve the conditions on the narrow two-lane road.

It's the road that has taken lives and a road that's been branded with a deadly name.

"I call it Death Valley," said Marion Bowens of Brandy's Bait Shop. "If you can survive between the two bridges you'll make it out of here 100 percent. Most of the wrecks happen between the two bridges."

Now that another life has been lost, county commissioners are calling on the state to turn this stretch of road into four lanes and make it impossible for motorists to make left-hand turns.

"We're losing human life on that road and that's very important," said District 3 council member Patrick Shay. "And everyone should be snapping to attention to address what can be done."

Vehicle accidents aren't the only hazard motorists have to face while traveling on this narrow two-lane stretch of road. The road can also be a hazard for the thousands of residents that might have to evacuate during an emergency.

"There could be some 8,000 people there when a disaster that might be approaching like a hurricane," said comission chairman Pete Liakakis. "So we need to make sure the people on the Landings and Skidaway island are protected and be able to evacuate.

With more people moving onto the island and more tourists traveling back and forth, commissioners say the only way to save lives is to expand the road that continues to become more deadly as the population continues to grow.

Reported by: Nicole Teigen, nteigen@wtoc.com

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