The South Carolina DOT (SCDOT) will begin construction this week to widen nearly 4.2 miles of U.S. 17 from the Georgia border to the intersection of SC 315 near Hardeeville, South Carolina in Jasper County.
SCDOT will widen the roadway from two to four lanes and make other improvements to enhance its safety and accommodate increasing traffic associated with residential and economic growth in the region.
The $41.9 million road widening project includes a divided grass median between the new four lanes, wider shoulders, and safety rumble strips. SCDOT will also install bike lanes and intersection improvements, including the installation of new traffic signaling at the SC 315 and U.S. 17 intersection. A second phase of the project is being designed by Georgia DOT to construct a second bridge over Back River near the Savannah River.
"The Highway 17 widening project accomplishes several goals. It updates the road infrastructure and improves the safety of our citizens as they travel the corridor," J. Barnwell Fishburne, Chairman of the SCDOT Commission representing the 6th Congressional District, said in a statement. "It also supports the region's growth and economic development efforts now and for the future."
Significant ground improvements, such as specialized work on new roadway embankments and compacting the soil to support the new highway, will add time to the road construction process. SCDOT expects the construction work, awarded to R.B. Baker Construction in a competitive bid process, to be completed by late 2025.
The project is funded by SCDOT through the Lowcountry Area Transportation Study (LATS) and the Lowcountry Council of Governments, which rate the project as a top road infrastructure priority of the region.
The U.S. 17 widening project is a part of SCDOT's 10-Year Plan to repave South Carolina's aging corridors, rebuild or replace deteriorating bridges, make rural roads safer, and improve key portions of interstates. SCDOT has tripled its road work to $3.4 billion in recent years and is ahead of schedule in the fourth year of the 10-Year Plan.
SOURCE: South Carolina DOT