Beaufort News

Widening, traffic lights to improve road safety

New traffic signals hanging at the heavily traveled intersection of Savannah Highway and Parris Island Gateway are part of the Savannah Highway road widening project and are expected to make the spot safer for motorists, a county traffic official said.

An analysis at the beginning of the widening project indicated traffic volume warranted the signals, county traffic and transportation engineer Colin Kinton said.

The widening project is one of several funded through a temporary penny sales tax that county voters approved in 2006.

The signals will eliminate the need for a right "acceleration lane" that drivers use to merge onto Parris Island Gateway.

Once completed, Savannah Highway will have two right-turn lanes with a right traffic signal arrow.

"It's a little bit safer because you have to come to a stop," Kinton said. "The acceleration lane that's there right now is really too short."

It will probably be another three to four weeks before the signals are activated, Kinton said.

Workers first must finish preparing the intersection and installing loops underground that send information to the signals as vehicles approach, he said.

The entire widening project was scheduled to be completed late last year but was slowed by weather and problems with utilities, according to Rob McFee, director of the county's Engineering and Infrastructure Division.

The county now expects the project to wrap up late this year or sooner, McFee said.

Work also is under way on four new mast arms slated for the intersection of Lady's Island Drive and Ribaut Road, Kinton said.

The poles and arms have been installed and workers will begin hanging lights at the intersection next week. The lights will likely not be switched on for another three to four weeks, Kinton said.

The county is contributing about $25,000 for the project at Lady's Island Drive, Kinton said. The town of Port Royal is paying about $120,000 with money from a tax increment financing district fund, town manager Van Willis said.


Other recent business openings, closings and changes in the area:

  • Sea Island Pizza will open Tuesday at 136 Sea Island Parkway on Lady's Island.
  • Owner Clair White bought a former Domino's Pizza location and is converting it to his own take-out and delivery business, manager Linda Wilson said.

    The new eatery will deliver to all of Port Royal and downtown Beaufort, Wilson said.

    Details: 843-522-1212

  • Mizu Japanese Steakhouse reopened last week after a fire forced the business to close about 10 months ago.
  • Located at 1370 Ribaut Road in Port Royal, Mizu is open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for lunch and 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. for dinner Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, noon to 11 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday.

    Details: 843-524-8884

  • Mario's Italian Ristorante on Ribaut Road has closed. An owner could not be reached for comment.
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