HORRY COUNTY, SC (WBTW) – The state Department of Transportation is looking to change what’s been called a dangerous intersection in the northern part of the county.
The South Carolina Highway Patrol says a bus carrying a Virginia church group missed the stop sign at the intersection of state highways 9 and 410 back in June. An oncoming pickup crashed into the bus and 17 people were injured.
It’s far from the only accident since 2012 at the intersection.
“There were 28 crashes over the last few years, 26 of them being the angle-type crashes, which are considered the most severe type of crashes,” said SCDOT project manager Brett McCutchan.
Those crashes are why SCDOT wants to put a new type of intersection there. It’s called a “restricted cross U-turn” or RCUT. People were able to learn about the proposal and give official comments to the SCDOT during a meeting at Green Sea Floyds Elementary School on Tuesday evening.
All drivers on highway 410, also called Green Sea Road, could only take a right on to highway 9 and can’t turn left or go straight. Then, a nearby U-turn lane in the median would allow drivers to change directions on highway 9.
The DOT said RCUT intersections reduce accident risks.
“A traditional, four-legged intersection has 32 opportunities to get into a crash,” McCutchan said. “By introducing this RCUT, there would be only 14 opportunities to get into a crash.”
Several other spots on highway 9 already have RCUT intersections like where it meets Log Cabin Road.
Some residents say they want a four-way traffic light at the Green Sea Road intersection instead.
“Those ones that they have already installed are on roads that certainly do not have the volume of traffic that 410 has,” said Green Sea resident Bob Shumate.
The DOT disagrees and says there’s not enough traffic at that intersection to justify a stop light.
“Anything that’s done is an improvement because it is definitely a hazardous intersection,” Shumate said. “There’s always fender benders and, unfortunately, there have been fatalities.”
Construction is scheduled to begin next summer and would take six to 10 months to complete.