Hours left to weigh in on Harbor View Road project

JAMES ISLAND, S.C. (WCIV) -- Wednesday is the last day for people to weigh in on the modified design of the Harbor View Road project on James Island.

The design includes a roundabout, new traffic signals, crosswalks and a reduced speed limit.

Charleston County officials say the purpose of the project is to improve traffic flow and safety on Harbor View Road and to provide adequate bicycle and pedestrian facilities.

Residents of the James Island area worried that the road project will harm green space, private property and increase taxes have protested the project slated for completion in the spring of 2014. The fight comes amid Charleston County's takeover and dissolving of the Town of James Island.

County officials said on Thursday they want to make a final decision on the project that is good for everyone.

For more details on the plan and to leave a comment, click here.

According to Charleston County Roadwise, the main features of the Harbor View Rd.{}plan include:

A roundabout at the intersection of Fort Johnson Road

Traffic Signals at the intersection of Fort Sumter Drive and Mikell Drive

Crosswalks will be striped across Harbor View Road at locations recommend by the public, subject to SCDOT approval

A reduction in the speed limit from 40 mph to 35 mph

The plan has not been without its share of opposition, though.

Gary Milliken, co-founder of 'Save Harbor View Road' coalition, said the county's{}proposed alternative plan made some positive changes to the initial road{}design, but not enough.

"What we are asking for here in this final hour is perhaps two feet off the center lane width,"{}Harbor View Rd.{}resident, Gary Milliken said.{}"And we would like to see the continuation of the bike lanes all the way to the Connector from the North Shore."

"If all these things go in and we can maintain the 35 mph speed limit, if people could have access to the Connector, our neighborhood's integrity will be more or less preserved."

Milliken says his greatest fear with the road project{}is that the character of the neighborhood will change from residential to commercial. A major campaign point for the 'Save Harbor View Road' group is preserving the environmental aspects of the area -- especially the trees.

"We saved a number of trees just by having the project reduced six feet. It's hard to say how many we saved but sadly we are going to be losing six grand trees and over 100 trees and shrubs that we couldn't save," Milliken said. "Those trees could be saved if we minimize the length of the center lane."

The project is expected to be finished in the spring of 2014. The half cent sales tax referendum will pay for it.