Public forum held on U.S. 278 widening proposal on HHI

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, SC (WTOC) - Tuesday night, Hilton Head residents had the chance to hear from representatives about a proposed project that would widen a portion of 278.

Coming onto the island from the bridge, the speed limit immediately changes from 55 to 45, so officials are looking to add two more travel lanes to make sure residents can enter and exit their neighborhoods safely.

The area is a highly congested one and drivers often find themselves jetting out into traffic trying to make a turn. There are currently three median crossovers at Jenkins Road, Blue Heron Point Road, and Cross Tree Drive, where drivers can make a left turn. It still proves to be dangerous for some motorists, so the proposal will add two designated U-turn medians as well.

The proposal calls for six traffic signals along the one-mile stretch of road.

Right now drivers find themselves risking it all just to make a left turn. With speeds reaching 55 miles per hour drivers find themselves waiting for several minutes before they can jet out into traffic.

Officials say they've been working on the proposal for the past 8 years and have budgeted about $7 million for the project.

The director of Traffic and Engineering explained how the proposal will help residents on Blue Heron Drive and in Windmill Harbour.

"The U-turn location is going to be further down than Jenkins Road, so it will be about a half mile before they turn right to move over. They'll have a half mile to do that, where the other signalized U-turn is that signal will help create gaps in traffic," said Beaufort County Traffic Director Colin Kinton.

The director says they are hoping to start construction by next year Public comment will be accepted for the next 30 days.

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