A stoplight at the new entrance to the Target shopping center on U.S. 278 in Bluffton is expected to be operational within two weeks, a spokesman for the developer paying for its installation says.
The stoplight and new entrance into the shopping center are safer and more practical for motorists than the current three-way intersection, said Will Euart, a leasing agent for Atlanta-based Stafford Properties.
The developer had to build the new intersection as part of a lease agreement with Dick's Sporting Goods, set to open in the shopping center this fall.
"The light makes for much easier access for all westbound traffic while creating a much safer environment," Euart said. "That was quite a U-turn you had to make earlier; I'm sure it was tied to many an accident."
Euart said the light would begin operating soon, adding that the dates are "not etched in stone."
The intersection's introduction has been slightly delayed, he said, by recent rains that postponed the pouring of asphalt along the south side of U.S. 278.
He added that Stafford Properties paid "in excess of $500,000" for the new intersection.
Colin Kinton, a traffic engineer for Beaufort County, said inspections at the intersection have been occurring since April, and he doesn't expect any problems whn the stoplight begins working.
Pittsburgh-based Dick's is expected to open its first Bluffton store in September. It will occupy the roughly 30,000-square-foot space that formerly was home to a Goody's clothing store.