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University taking steps to improve safety on S.C. 544 for pedestrians

May 29, 2018
CCU officials have a plan to improve student safety along S.C. 544 that encourages the use of the crosswalk at Founders Drive.CCU officials have a plan to improve student safety along S.C. 544 that encourages the use of the crosswalk at Founders Drive.

With student safety behind the wheel, Coastal Carolina University President David A. DeCenzo and the ad hoc committee he created 18 months ago have a plan they hope will improve and encourage safe travel to and from campus across S.C. 544.

The plan is to build a median barrier along S.C. 544 from Founders Drive to where the road forms a “Y” at a Scotchman gas station. DeCenzo said the barrier was the best option after considering several others, including tunneling under the road and building a crossover.

Mike Wooten, founder and president of DCC Engineers and former chair of the South Carolina Transportation Commission, agrees.

“It is by far the best alternative, because it is one that will be used,” he said.

The purpose of the barrier is to move students down to the designated crosswalk at Founders Drive. It will be at a height that allows visibility for drivers but discourages pedestrians from crossing the middle of the road.

DeCenzo is hoping that funding totaling around $1.2 million will be in place within the next several weeks and that construction on the median can begin. Funding has been requested from the County Transportation Commission, the South Carolina Department of Transportation, and the U.S. Department of Transportation. CCU has also pledged to help fund the project.

DeCenzo said it will be in the hands of the Department of Transportation as to the optimal time to begin construction.

Additional information:

CCU committee to evaluate safety of S.C. 544 near campus