Supports road widening plan

I want to make sure that some voices are heard in support of the proposed widening of S.C. 118 (Hitchcock Parkway). The traffic volume numbers support the need, and we need to remember that this route was built in order to serve as a bypass around our community – thereby helping to keep traffic levels more tolerable in other parts of the city. Judging from recent history, any gradually declining employment levels at the Savannah River Site, would probably be more than offset by other generators of future traffic.

While some have raised concerns about increased noise levels and decreased property values, it appears that this roadway was originally designed in order to minimize the effects of later widening. With the exception of the 1.5 mile section from U.S. 1 to New Covenant Presbyterian, there are no residences or other enterprises that face the bypass or open directly onto it. The section from Varden to Huntsman may require some retaining walls or privacy barriers, but some ingenuity from the state Department of Transportation should be able to address these issues.

Some of us have waited for more than a decade for this project to rise to the top of the priority list, and we don’t want to miss this opportunity. Multi-laning should break up the long, single-file lines of traffic that make it so difficult to get in and out of many neighborhoods. The alternative of adding more traffic signals might be cheaper, but it would probably just clog up the bypass and couldn’t keep up with increasing traffic volumes. It’s always tempting to say that we should focus our efforts elsewhere (such as on Whiskey Road), but I fear that failure to widen the bypass will just bog down the entire network of roadways that make up our community.

David B. Cozad