New Bees Ferry Road intersection open to drivers

CHARLESTON, S.C.(WCIV) -- A new intersection at Bees Ferry Road and Highway 17 opened Thursday to drivers. The new intersection with a stoplight is part of the Bees Ferry Widening project and has been shifted east, in the direction of Main Road, about 1,500 feet from its former location.

Construction began in January of 2012 and is expected to wrap up over the next few weeks by June 30. County officials have been working on the entire 4.5 mile length of Bees Ferry Road from Savannah Highway to Ashley River Road.

The project was requested by the City of Charleston and was funded by the Charleston County Transportation Sales Tax bond referendum.

Some major improvements of the project include:

--Widening Bees Ferry Road from two lanes to four lanes for the majority of the project with left and right turn lanes at intersections where warranted.

--Widening Bees Ferry Road from four lanes to six lanes between Grand Oaks Boulevard and the future West Ashley Circle intersection to the north of Glenn McConnell Parkway.

--Installing a 10-foot wide multi-use path for bicyclists and pedestrians on the west side of Bees Ferry Road, which that will tie into the multi-use path along Ashley River Road, and a five-foot wide sidewalk along the east side of the road.

--Upgrading stoplights on Bees Ferry Road where it intersects with Ashley River Road, Glenn McConnell Parkway, West Ashley Circle, and Main Road/Hunt Club Run.

Officials say during the construction project, crews protected numerous grand oak trees within the limits of the project.

The project also calls for replacing the existing bridge over the Church Creek Canal with a new longer, wider bridge complete with bicycle and pedestrian accommodations.