Public input sought for “suicide merge” redesign

Public input sought for “suicide merge” redesign
December 05 18:27 2018 Print This Article

Public input for the redesign of the “suicide merge” is being sought by Charleston County transportation officials. Members of the public viewed four design plans Wednesday for the point where traffic from Sam Rittenberg Boulevard and Old Towne Road meet. The plans aim to improve traffic flow, improve traffic safety, allow safe bicycle and pedestrian crossings and safe access to neighborhoods and shopping centers. The design displays were presented at the First Christian Church on Orange Grove Road. The cost of the redesign is expected to cost about $10 million.

A common thread on the designs was adding traffic lights on both sides of Sumar Street adjacent to the former Northbridge Piggly Wiggly. Some other design features include adding medians, adding pedestrian crosswalks, and diverting the existing traffic flow. More than 40,000 cars per day pass through the intersection each day. The plan adopted by the public will have to be approved by the SCDOT.

A 2-minute video on the project was shown to the dozens of residents who participated in the drop-in presentation. The four designs and the video will be available at SC7andSC171Intersection.com website. Public input on the design must be submitted by Friday, January 4.

The City of Charleston also submitted possible development plans for the former Northbridge Piggly Wiggly property, which it now owns. Among the features included in the plans were a 10,000 square foot performance center/meeting space, office space, retail space and landscaping. The number of parking spaces available at the property was not specified in the drawings.

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4 Comments

  1. December 05, 21:17 #1 Anonymous

    Ten million dollars us ridiculous. Our city and county elected officials need to be voted out.

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  2. December 05, 22:29 #2 Jeff Hines

    Hopefully it will be better than the laughable redesign of the Sam and 61 intersection! That was nothing but a waste of money!

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  3. December 05, 23:22 #3 Mike

    The merge is dangerous because the trees block visibility. If all the trees around the merge were removed, drivers would be able to clearly see cars they were about to merge with. However, the best solution is to add a fourth lane from the merge to the other side of the light at Orange Grove. This would completely eliminate the need for a ‘merge’ at all. Alternatively, the new fourth lane added could become either the left or right turn lane at the light at Orange Grove.

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