Beachbound traffic traveling through Aynor this weekend should be seeing some new flashing lights in an effort to alleviate some congestion on U.S. 501.
The S.C. Department of Transportation, in conjunction with the town of Aynor, plans to use the two traffic signals in Aynor in flashing mode during peak traffic periods Saturday and Sunday. The lights facing U.S. 501 will flash yellow – which cautions drivers to side traffic – and side street lights will flash red – which requires drivers to stop completely.
It’s something we’ve wanted to take a look at, especially with the construction of the overpass.
Kyle Berry, S.C. DOT District 5 administrator
Local traffic seeking to cross U.S. 501 is encouraged to use Julius H. Goodson overpass, said Kyle Berry, DOT District 5 administrator. The department has placed signs on side streets to warn motorists of the change and S.C. Highway Patrol officers will be on scene to help with traffic management, he said.
“It is going to be a change, but I’d encourage people to be safe on the side streets,” Berry said.
Department engineers will monitor and evaluate the impact the flashing signals have on traffic over the weekend and, based on the results, will determine whether to continue this operation during the summer weekends. If the plan works, Berry said the department would use flashing lights from Memorial Day to Labor Day, with some special weekends in-between.
“We’d have to adjust accordingly on certain holidays, like July 4,” he said.
The program was developed by the DOT in collaboration with Aynor officials, S.C. Highway Patrol and Horry County officials, Berry said. The DOT is taking the lead, but officials have been looking into a traffic alleviation plan for some time – especially with the construction of the overpass.
David Thompson, Aynor police chief, said the decision to implement flashing lights was a decision for safety.
“The goal of the Town of Aynor is that all local residents and visitors motoring in our town reach their destinations safely and efficiently,” Thompson said.
Claire Byun: 843-626-0381, @Claire_TSN