SCDOT proposes changes along 10 mile stretch of Hwy 701 to prevent crashes

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HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — SCDOT officials held a community meeting to talk about proposed safety improvements along Hwy 701 from near the Georgetown County line to Pitch landing Road in Horry County.

SCDOT plans to make several safety improvements along a 10 mile corridor on Hwy 701 to prevent run off the road crashes.

Image courtesy of SCDOT

Within 5 years from 2011 to 2015, 165 crashes occurred along the proposed area. 51 of them were run off the road crashes and 14 were fatal or severe injury.

“Our goal is to make the 2 lane road safer,” Bryan Jones, the Program Manager for the SCDOT Rural Road Safety Project, said. “The first part of it is to keep vehicles on the road so we’re having wider, brighter markings, rumble stripes, paved shoulders adjacent to the road and that’s just to keep people on the road surfaces itself.”

Image courtesy of SCDOT

Jones said these safety improvements are part of the Rural Road Safety Program by SCDOT. It’s one of the 55 corridors across the state that SCDOT selected based on the number of crashes that occur.

The Rural Road Safety Program (RRSP) is a new safety program initiated in 2017 as a part of SCDOT’s 10-year plan

“So it is out of the worst of the worst, it’s in the top tier,” Jones said.

Jones added, “the safety treatments are specifically identified to keep the vehicle on the road, keep them in their lane, and if they do run off the road for whatever reason, they have a safe place to try and recover.”

South Carolina currently has the highest traffic and highway fatality rate in the country with almost 60 percent of the fatal crashes occurring on the state’s rural roadways.

Jones said they don’t plan to widen the road to a 4-lane highway but said the widening of US 701 is listed in the GSATS 2040 Metropolitan Transportation Plan.

The project is being funded by the state gas tax. Right of Way Acquisition begins this Fall and construction begins Spring 2023.

Jones said they’re still accepting comments and suggestions about the project. You can contact him at JonesBL@scdot.org.

More information on the project can be found on their website here.

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