Recently, there has been much talk about the increase in the number of wrecks and rampant speeding on U.S. 278. There has been no mention that the volume of traffic has greatly increased over the years. The addition of three lanes on U.S. 278 and the extension of the Bluffton Parkway has contributed to the problem.
In hindsight, U.S. 278 as a whole was poorly designed from the beginning. In recent years, they have built frontage roads that should have been built in the beginning. I believe flyovers at main intersections would have helped also. One must make U-turns at some intersections to access shops on the other side of the road.
Once the Bluffton Parkway is complete, it is supposed to relieve some of the congestion on U.S. 278, but I think the opposite will happen. The fact that five lanes of traffic will have to merge into two lanes at the foot of the bridge is poor planning.
To be successful, the bridges to Hilton Head Island should have three eastbound lanes, thereby keeping the traffic from the Bluffton Parkway moving smoothly onto the island.
Under the current plan, the merge onto U.S. 278 will become a breeding ground for wrecks as there is no designated merge lane. Traffic will often come to a stop at the merge point, backing traffic up onto the parkway.