As more development has taken place in Daniel Island’s Town Center, traffic has increased substantially at the intersection of Island Park Drive and Fairchild Street. As this intersection has become a major connection point on the island, it has become a more dangerous intersection for bikers and pedestrians. As such, I began working with the City’s Traffic and Transportation staff several months ago to come up with a plan for making some much needed safety improvements to this area. I am very happy to share with the community that we have completed our study of this intersection and have developed a plan to improve safety at this intersection. These improvements will occur in two different phases and work has already begun on Phase 1 of the project.
If you have driven through this intersection in the last couple weeks, you may have noticed that a sidewalk has been installed on the Publix side of Island Park Drive. This is part of the initial phase of the project that will include the installation of concrete sidewalks, high visibility crosswalks and solar flashers. The City’s Traffic and Transportation Department began the procurement process on June 13. They have issued a purchase order to the vendor for solar flashers and anticipate the equipment to arrive by July 25. Once the equipment has arrived, Traffic and Transportation will complete the installation of the flashers. The project is currently estimated to begin construction during the week of August 1 with an approximate completion date of August 22.
Phase 2 is a much larger project that will include the full signalization of this intersection. Over the last 30 days, I have been working with the City’s chief financial officer to identify a funding source to complete Phase 2 of this project. I am very pleased to report that I was able to secure funding for this second phase that includes the full signalization of this intersection. We have already acquired a design firm to provide the proposal for the traffic signal design, preliminary plans and final construction drawings. We anticipate having the design work completed in August, and will then put out a solicitation for bids from qualified contractors and anticipate awarding a contract in early October.
Once we have provided the signal contractor with notice to proceed, they will begin the construction phase of the signalization project with the engineering and site preparation. The schedule for completion of the signalization of the intersection will be determined in large part by the length of time it takes to receive the poles and mast arms. This is due to the fact that the lead time to procure the poles and mast arms is approximately eight months from the time the manufacturer receives the order.
I am very pleased with the progress we have been able to make in adding these much needed safety improvements for the island to this intersection. Additionally, I want to thank the members of the business community in the surrounding area for their involvement in helping to make these improvements a reality, including their generous contribution of $15,000 towards this project.
Councilman Gary White, a Daniel Island resident, was elected to Charleston City Council in November of 2007. He represents District 1, which includes the Daniel Island/Cainhoy area and portions of downtown Charleston.