Traffic

Hilton Head to build roundabout at Mathews Drive intersection

Town staff members are planning a traffic circle at Mathews Drive and Marshland Road.
Town staff members are planning a traffic circle at Mathews Drive and Marshland Road. The Town of Hilton Head Island

A busy intersection on Hilton Head Island is being replaced by a roundabout.

Town staff members are planning a roundabout at Mathews Drive and Marshland Road.

The intersection has become increasingly congested and dangerous during rush hour, according to town traffic engineer Darrin Shoemaker. It's not uncommon for a dozen cars on Marshland to wait to turn left onto Mathews, he said.

"It gets a little dicey trying to take a left there during peak traffic hours," Shoemaker said.

He and other town engineers say the roundabout should ease congestion and reduce wrecks.

Two people have been injured and 14 accidents have taken place at the Mathews-Marshland intersection in the past four years, according to Shoemaker.

"Often when we put in a roundabout, the collision rate goes down to one or two a year," he said.

Work starts Jan. 5 and should be finished April 4, assistant town engineer Jennifer Lyle said.

Drivers seeking to turn left onto Marshland from Mathews or vice versa can expect to be re-routed through William Hilton Parkway for a two-week period during construction, she said.

The project will cost about $692,000 and be paid for with revenue from a special tax district.

The roundabout completes the town's recent makeover of roads in the Mathews Drive area.

In 2011, the town spent $814,000 to build bike paths and a roundabout at Beach City Road and Mathews Drive.

Earlier this year, it completed $775,000 to upgrade the narrow flood-prone side streets off Mathews Drive.

Follow reporter Dan Burley on Twitter at twitter.com/IPBG_Dan.

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