By Brian Sherman for The Island Eye News
The city of Isle of Palms will spend up to $15,000 to hire an engineer to review safety issues on the IOP Connector, which was recently restriped by the South Carolina Department of Transportation.
At its April 27 meeting, the Council voted unanimously to accept the recommendation of the Ways and Means Committee and engage the services of an engineer to study the current situation on the bridge.
SCDOT recently restriped the bridge without input from the city, adding delineated bike and pedestrian paths on both sides and drastically reducing the size of the center lane, which had been used for emergency vehicles to enter and leave the island. Following the Council’s March 23 meeting, Mayor Jimmy Carroll sent a letter to Secretary of Transportation Christy Hall that urged the Department to “revert the lane design and striping to its previous, safe condition before we are mourning the death of a citizen of this state or a visitor to our city.”
Carroll said a request for proposal would be issued to find a professional traffic engineer to carry out the study. He said he didn’t know exactly when that would happen.
City Administrator Desiree Fragoso pointed out at the Ways and Means Committee’s April 20 meeting that Hall had decided to hire an outside expert to conduct a traffic study “to not only look at the modification to the IOP Connector but also look at other potential solutions to the traffic issues that we are seeing on the Connector during peak season and evaluate potential solutions.”
Ways and Means Committee members agreed it would be a good idea for the city to hire its own engineer.
“State Sen. Chip Campsen wrote a letter to Secretary Hall asking for an engineering study, and, while we thank him for doing that, we’re going to have our own engineer to look after our interests,” Carroll commented.