2012 PGA traffic and parking plan unveiled

Kiawah Island (Dave MacQueen/WCIV)

By Sonya

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- It has been years in the making for those planning the 2012 PGA Championship on The Ocean Course.

On Monday, event organizers revealed their plans for getting all those spectators to the island.

"We've got a great event coming to town," said Brett Sterba, 2012 PGA Championship Director. "We've got the best players in the world taking on America's toughest golf course. You really couldn't ask for a better situation and a chance to showcase the Lowcountry internationally."

The only downside to Kiawah is that it is an island, which means one way in and one way out.

"Traffic and parking by far as been one of the biggest concerns for residents as well as just general people that have heard that Kiawah is an island," Sterba said.

But thanks to the work of many, a plan has been formed.

"We have 2 two-lane roads that join into a two-lane road coming onto the island," said Roger Warren, 2012 PGA Championship General Chairman. "It will be very important that people follow the plan as much as they can so that the efforts that have been put in place to direct the traffic, control the traffic and keep in moving, prevent accidents..."

There are two basic routes. The first is one for those northeast of I-26. The other is for those south of I-526 and I-26.

"The green route, as you can see, will bring people down route 17, across the Stono Ferry Bridge and then down River Road to Betsy Kerrison," Warren said. "Everyone that would be south of 526 and 26 to use the orange route, which would bring them down route 17 to Main Road, Main Road to Bohicket, Bohicket to Betsy Kerrison and then on the island."

With more than 200 thousand people expected at the event during the course of the week, there will be no public parking on the island.

Walter Thurman is hoping that some people won't want to bother with the public parking area and will depend on his transportation company.

"We assume that there will be guests coming in, people traveling to the event, and hopefully, we'll get some of that business to transfer them out to the event," Thurman, owner of AAA Royal Coach said.

But parking just a small detail in what is expected to be one of the biggest sporting events in Lowcountry history.