Yesterday, Lake and Main published an article saying the South Carolina Department of Transportation had rejected the Town of Lexington’s plan to construct a traffic circle at Lake Drive and Columbia Avenue. Lexington Town Administrator Britt Poole contacted L&M with a correction to the story.
While the plan for a traffic circle has been abandoned, it is not because SCDOT gave the design a thumbs down. Rather, as Town engineers studied the plan, they realized the original plan would not work. As stated in the yesterday’s post, “To make a circle/round-about work would require increasing the footprint of the construction which would necessitate the Town’s acquisition of private property (eminent domain).”
Town engineers are now developing plans for a more “traditional” intersection design at Columbia/Lake. Mr. Poole noted that by using a more conventional pattern, an even more efficient model can be implemented. Further, the project, known as the “Crossroad Improvement,” will be extended east from Columbia Avenue to where North Lake Drive branches from Sunset Blvd toward Lake Murray. Mr. Poole said these changes will remain within the projected costs for the original plan.
Mr. Poole also emphasized that SCDOT, which works with Town engineers in planning, have mandated that projects be designed to accommodate anticipated traffic flow and volume not just for the immediate future, but for the next 20 years.
The Town Administrator confirmed that the extension and redirection of Harmon Street will happen. Harmon will wind west and connect to North Lake Drive near where Azalea Drive is current located. Neither Azalea nor Dreher Street will connect directly to Lake Drive. New access lanes will be built for Lexington Middle School.
In yesterday’s article, Lake and Main pointed out that “There were some who complained about the idea of a traffic circle/round-about at that location, but council members explained that it was only a concept that had to be studied and approved by the state. That is exactly what happened.”
It was emphasized continuously last year that the plans shown to the public were “concepts” meant to give ideas for fixing the Town’s exploding vehicle population. Too many people ignored the word “concept” and railed against Town leaders because they, the complaining citizens, didn’t like the model. This latest development is evidence that the Town of Lexington and the engineers it employs are professionals with the best interests of the citizenry and their tax dollars at heart.
Lake and Main thanks Mr. Poole for reaching out and clarifying this issue for us.