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Northwest Richland Intersection Getting New Traffic Circle

Construction of traffic circle at Kennerly, Coogler and Steeple Ridge roads to begin Sept. 15

RICHLAND COUNTY, S.C. – Drivers who regularly navigate the intersection of Kennerly, Coogler and Steeple Ridge roads in northwest Richland County can look forward to smoother travels in the coming months.

Groundbreaking for a new traffic circle at the intersection near River Springs Elementary School is set for Sept. 15. The $1.4 million upgrade, which is among the latest in the Richland County Penny Tax Program, is expected to be significantly completed by the new year.

The finished project is designed to ease congestion where busy Kennerly Road intersects the two side streets of Coogler Road and Steeple Ridge Road.

By next year, about 6,000 cars are expected to travel along Kennerly Road at that intersection each day. The number of cars is projected to reach 7,100 by 2037.

At Coogler Road, the expected daily traffic count next year is 2,300 and anticipated to increase to 2,800 by 2037. At Steeple Ridge Road the traffic count is expected to reach 2,350 by next year and 2,900 by 2037.

The intersection currently has stop signs along Coogler and Steeple Ridge roads. But the new traffic circle will replace where those two legs currently are forced to stop and allow vehicles to merge from all four directions while continue moving.

“It will control vehicle speed at the intersection as all vehicles will need to travel at a lower speed to maneuver through the traffic circle,” Jennifer Bragg, assistant program manager for the Richland Penny Program, said. “And although it won’t eliminate accidents, traffic circles improve intersection safety as accidents are typically less severe.”

Bragg said a traffic circle will also have less impact on nearby property than a traditional signalized intersection would.

Motorists will experience some road closures and detours while the work is completed and are urged to use caution during the construction.

Steeple Ridge Road will be closed at Kennerly Road for several weeks and the Ascot Subdivision should be accessed by Laurent Way at Kennerly Road or Steeple Ridge Road at Hollingshed Road.

The public will be notified prior to the Steeple Ridge Road closure and drivers are encouraged to use alternative routes when possible.

The intersection improvement project is among six major intersection upgrades being completed across the county through the Penny program.

The improvements vary by intersection and range from the traffic circle to additional turning lanes.

Richland County has awarded a contract for all six intersections to C.R. Jackson, Inc., a Columbia-owned construction contractor.

Four other intersections in northeast Richland County include Clemson Road at North Springs and Rhame roads; Farrow Road at Pisgah Church Road; North Springs Road at Risdon Way; and Summit Parkway and Summit Ridge Road.

Broad River Road at Rushmore Road also is included in the intersection upgrades.

The Kennerly Road and Coogler Road/Steeple Ridge Road traffic circle is among millions of dollars in transportation and commuter improvement projects made possible through the Richland County Transportation Penny Tax program.

The Penny Program was approved by voters in November 2012 and includes projects throughout Richland County during a 22-year period or until $1.07 billion in sales tax revenue is collected, whichever occurs first. The program includes such projects as road widenings, intersection improvements, sidewalks, bikeways, dirt road paving and greenways.

The Sept. 15 groundbreaking for the traffic circle begins at 10 a.m. at the 1700-block of Kennerly Road and the ceremony is open to the public.

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