New Improvements Coming To Highway 17 - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

07/19/05

New Improvements Coming To Highway 17

Today, the top Dept. of Tranportation and a Highway Commissioner came to town to talk with us today about all the new changes on highway 17 and they say if you drive out there today - you'll see new speed limit signs popping up.

The highway patrol has been out in full force this past week... Trying to get drivers to slow down and save lives.   Starting this Friday, the speed limit will drop from 55 miles per hour to 50 and they'll put message board up to alert drivers.

The highway patrol has been out in full force this past week, trying to get drivers to slow down and save lives. Starting this Friday, the speed limit will drop from 55 miles per hour to 50 and they'll put message board up to alert drivers.

The state is also planning to add rumble strips on the no passing zones within the next two months. Wilson Elgin said, "If you look closely at some of the accidents many of them are driver errors but some of the things we're doing are rumble strips that will help. If a driver makes an error, it will remind him to get back in his lane."

Although these measures are just stop gaps, highway officials say that's the only thing they can do, right now, until they they get the permits and funding to widen the highway.  They say they are already working on getting the permits and working on funding sources.

John Hardee stated that, "My suggestion is to work through the state infrastructure bank by pledging future federal funds. That way, we would be able to do the whole 22 miles stretch."

In the mean time, the Department of Transportation isn't wasting any time. Plans are already underway to four-lane the highway. According to Hardee, "It includes an interchange at Gardens Corner at the intersection of 21. There are several bridges on the project. We have some medians with a 40-foot median. We also have some intersections where it's five lanes with a two-way left turn lane."

If you'd like to give see the plans for yourself, and put in your two cents, you'll have a couple of chances next month. The DOT will hold public meetings on August 8th in Green Pond and August 9th at Whale Branch Middle School in Beaufort from 4:30 to 7.

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