Public's input sought at Harbor View Road Project meeting (update: concerns arise)

Update August 12: While the latest design pleased few residents, hopes that concessions could be made by reducing the width of the improvements appears to be fizzling.

The Post and Courier writes that Charleston Councilman Joe Qualey is pushing for reductions in the form of thinner sidewalks and multi-use bike paths but is seeing much resistance (check out the paper's report here.)

Scroll on down for an overview of what's in the plan.

Expect a final decission around September 23.

Update August 3: More than 60 curious James Island residents showed up to Tuesday's public meeting to examine the Harbor View Road design plans created by Charleston County, however, very few in attendance approved the most recent changes.

The majority of residents, after looking over the plans, felt that the design will be $18 million poorly spent. One-hundred homes along the 2-mile stretch would lose a portion of their property to a right of way, and many wonder if a new center turn lane would cause more problems than it hopes solve. Safety concerns also flared over the multi-use path proposed to run along the northern edge of the road.

The Post and Courier has a solid piece on the reactions at yesterday's meeting; read them here.

First reporting: Charleston County Council member Joe Qualey invites citizens to a meeting about the County’s Harbor View Road Widening Project.

The meeting will be held this evening at 5 p.m. at the James Island Town Hall located at 1238 Camp Road.

Those attending the meeting will hear information presented by county staff working on the project and have an opportunity to ask questions. The purpose of the meeting is to provide information to residents and also to gather additional input prior to the county’s meeting with the S.C. Department of Transportation (SCDOT) on Thursday, August 4th.

The project was designed based on public input given at meetings and through the county’s webpage on the project. The most requested feature of the project was to include bike and pedestrian paths.

After some residents spoke against certain components of the project at a recent County Council meeting, Council directed staff to meet with the SCDOT to ask about the feasibility of making the requested changes to the project scope.

“I don't want anyone to feel like they were left out of the process of planning this important project,” Qualey said. “And I want everyone to know exactly what is going to happen, when it will happen, and how long it will take. The more information we can provide our citizens, the better.”

Since Council’s directive for staff to meet with the SCDOT, a few media stories have been published or aired on the news that contained inaccurate facts. The most frequent inaccurate statements in the media regarding the project concern the width and the amount of right-of-way acquisition needed. The below information gives the facts concerning the plans of the construction project:

  • Construction of a center left-turn lane on Harbor View Road between North Shore Drive and Mikell Drive. 
  • An additional three right-turn lanes at the Harbor View Road intersections with North Shore Drive, Quail Drive, and Mikell Drive. 
  • The intersection of North Shore Drive and Harbor View Road will be changed to a right-turn-in and right-turn-out only. This new traffic pattern will be accomplished using a raised concrete island. 
  • The construction of a 10-foot-wide multi-use path (bicycles and pedestrians) on the Charleston Harbor side of Harbor View Road from North Shore Drive to Fort Johnson Road. 
  • A five-foot-wide sidewalk will be constructed on the opposite side of Harbor View Road from North Shore Drive to Fort Johnson Road. 
  • Improvements to the side roads where they intersect with Harbor View Road to accommodate turning school buses. 
  • Replace the existing ditch with a new drainage system that will include curb and gutter, catch basins, water quality measures, and drainage pipes.

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