Duncan, South Carolina Fixng Dangerous Intersection

The town of Duncan is taking steps to enhance the safety of commuters by making improvements to a hazardous intersection. Construction on Exit 63, located off Interstate 85, has been underway since last summer.

The town officials have decided to implement a diverging diamond interchange in order to facilitate smoother and safer traffic flow.

Currently, the intersection experiences heavy traffic, which town leaders believe contributes to a higher frequency of accidents. Cameron Fant, the Duncan town administrator, expressed his concern about the situation, stating, "With the increased traffic, unfortunately, comes a higher number of wrecks. Our police and fire departments are frequently called to the area, sometimes even more than once a day."

Drivers who frequent this road acknowledge the challenges it presents. Johnny Christopher-Graham, a driver, stated, "It has been dangerous for a while now. There are frequent accidents occurring, and I witnessed one just the other day." Another driver, Nikolas Defeo, described the situation as "a little busy and hectic," expressing his apprehension about making a left turn from the area near QT.

To address these issues, town leaders devised a plan to construct a diverging diamond interchange. This type of interchange features separated crossings where traffic momentarily switches to the opposite side of the roadway between freeway ramps. Fant explained, "The design ensures that there is always a lane of traffic moving, promoting smoother and safer travel."

According to Fant, this diverging diamond interchange will be the second of its kind in the state. He highlighted that the new design eliminates the need for left-hand turns in front of oncoming traffic. Instead, drivers will cross over to the opposing lane of traffic after crossing the bridge and then return to the regular lane on the other side.

The South Carolina Department of Transportation selected this location for the $22 million project due to the high number of crashes occurring at the intersection. Fant acknowledged, "Unfortunately, this intersection has come under scrutiny due to the significant number of accidents that take place here."

Drivers interviewed by 7NEWS expressed their support for the plan, noting that it would make them feel safer on the road. Defeo remarked, "I'm glad they finally have a plan in place," while Christopher-Graham added, "It's about time. I think it's a good decision to make it more secure for everyone who uses it."

Fant further explained that the project aims to improve traffic flow from Spartangreen Boulevard to Mcaulay Road. "All the transitions and incoming roads onto 290 will be made easier, and the entrance and exit ramps will be upgraded," he stated.

He advised drivers to exercise caution and remain vigilant during the ongoing construction, suggesting they slow down if necessary. The construction is expected to last for two years, with the goal of completing the project by the summer of 2024. Fant mentioned that the intersection would be blocked only once towards the end of the construction process. Detours will be in place, and drivers will receive advance warning about the blockage.