With the start of the new year, The Island Packet and The Beaufort Gazette today will preview some of the biggest local issues expected to impact the lives of residents, workers, business owners and tourists in Beaufort County and surrounding areas. Following is one of 17 issues to watch in 2017:
The S.C. Department of Transportation had slated construction for a safety project along Jasper County’s stretch of Interstate 95 to begin in 2016, but delays pushed the project back.
The project began after an investigation by The Island Packet and The Beaufort Gazette found that more drivers died along the small stretch of the interstate — known as the “coffin corridor” — than in all other areas of the interstate in South Carolina combined.
Trees hugging the Jasper County section of highway were far less forgiving to cars veering off the road, leaving drivers with too little time to correct themselves, the newspapers’ analysis found.
Representatives from DOT now say a project to cut down trees and install cable barriers along the stretch will begin at the end of this summer. Whether the project will face further delays remains to be seen.