From staff reports
Road crews have started the $42 million project to widen and improve a critical section of U.S. Highway 17 connecting Jasper County to Savannah, a common route taken by residents of Beaufort County when traveling to and from the Georgia city.
Crews already completed most of the lane re-striping to create narrower 11-foot lanes during construction that will widen US 17 from two lanes to four. The temporarily narrow lanes provide extra room along the roadsides for contractors to begin work on the widening.
Temporary concrete barrier walls were being installed this week at night, and electric and communications utilities have been moving their cables along the corridor.
“We plan to maintain traffic in both directions throughout the life of this project,” said Ted Creech, a spokesman for the S.C. Department of Transportation (SCDOT). “We appreciate motorists’ patience with our progress.”
Intermittent delays should be expected through at least May, but the highway will remain open in both directions, Creech said. Lanes are allowed to be closed from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. Monday through Friday, and on the weekend from midnight until noon. Drivers should expect to see crews and machinery in use during those hours and are asked to be extra careful.
The work is from the intersection of S.C .315 near Hardeeville to the Georgia border and the Back River Bridge. For years the two-lane road, known as Speedway Boulevard, has been busy with commuters and heavy trucks.
SCDOT will widen the 4.2-mile section of road from two-lanes to four and make other improvements, including bike lanes, intersection upgrades, safety rumble strips at the road edge, and a new traffic signal at the intersection of U.S. 17 and S.C. 315. The design also calls for a grass median between the road sections.