US 17 & Main Road Improvements
About the Project: The intersection of US 17 and Main Road is notoriously plagued by problems. Every day at rush hour the intersection gets snarled in traffic as drivers try to turn left onto Johns Island. This intersection is also one of the most dangerous in Charleston County. According to the Charleston County Department of Public Safety, there were 336 crashes, 121 people injured, and two fatalities at the intersection of US 17 and Main Road between 2011 and 2019. And since 2015, this low-lying intersection has been swamped with king tides, rain bombs and hurricanes. Especially considering this corridor is the designated hurricane evacuation route for Johns, Wadmalaw, Kiawah and Seabrook Islands, it is critical that this route remain passable before and after major storm events.
The Latest: On May 20, 2019 Charleston County held a public meeting at St. Johns High School to reveal seven proposed design alternatives to improve the intersection at Main Road and US 17. Over 400 people turned out to review the designs and submit comments. During this process the Conservation League urged Charleston County to pursue a design with minimal impacts to wetlands and maximum connections for bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure to improve multi modal capacity throughout the Main Road corridor from Bees Ferry to River Roads.
In 2018, Charleston County Council approved a phased, three-segment approach for the Main Road Corridor Project. These much-needed improvement projects throughout the corridor will provide a more efficient access point on and off Johns Island by improving the intersection at US 17 and Main Road, in addition to further improvements along Main Road. The enhancements include improved drainage, bicycle and pedestrian facilities and widening from Bees Ferry Road to Betsy Kerrison Parkway, a distance of approximately 15 miles.
Past Actions: In November 2016 Charleston County citizens voted to approve a second Transportation Sales Tax ordinance which included the US 17 and Main Road flyover and widening Main Road from Bees Ferry Road to Betsy Kerrison Parkway as a project of regional significance.
On May 16, 2018, County Council voted to approve segmenting Main Road Corridor Improvement Project into three sections to expedite the permitting process. Council voted to complete the project in the following order with the middle segment being the second priority for faster overall relief:
- Segment A – US 17 and Main Road Intersection Improvements and Main Road Improvements from Bees Ferry Road to River Road
- Segment C – Bohicket Road Improvements from Maybank Highway to Betsy Kerrison Parkway
- Segment B – Main Road from River Road to Maybank Highway
Learn more: Charleston County Transportation Development is currently negotiating the engineering scope and fee of Segment A – US 17 and Main Road Intersection Improvements from Bees Ferry Road to River Road. Follow the progress of the project on the County website.