Signal to help traffic near Cane Bay schools
Students at the Cane Bay schools will play a real game of “red light, green light” this year now that the county has installed a long-awaited traffic signal in the area.
“The safety of our students and stakeholders is a top priority for the school district,” said Berkeley County Superintendent Rodney Thompson. “The traffic signal will make the entrance to the Cane Bay community much safer.”
Thompson has been waiting for the signal for nearly a year, since the Berkeley County Transportation Committee agreed to fund it.
Residents of Cane Bay Plantation and other area neighborhoods in the rapidly growing area also have gotten behind the effort.
When the light was approved, Berkeley County Engineer Frank Carson said he didn’t know how long it would take to get it installed.
“I am very thankful the light is there,” said Cane Bay High School Principal Lee Westbury. “We have been asking for this for quite a while, and we know it’s a process, but we are very happy to be at the end of the process.”
The light is at U.S. Highway 176, also known as State Road, and Cane Bay Boulevard, the entrance to a development that could one day have more than 4,000 houses.
It is about two-tenths of a mile from the entrance to Cane Bay High, but the larger of the school’s two parking lots exits onto Cane Bay Boulevard. Officials have expressed concerns about teen drivers trying to make a left onto State Road, a rural, two-lane highway with a 55 mph speed limit. A school speed zone of 45 mph has been added since Cane Bay High opened in 2008.
“I can’t tell you how many wrecks were out there, but I know they were numerous,” Westbury said. “At least one every couple of weeks.”
The project is being paid for with money from state gas taxes.
The Post and Courier reported one fatality in the area last year. The S.C. Department of Public Safety does not have statistics for the number of accidents in the area.
The agency maintains records for wrecks with injuries, fatalities or more than $1,000 in property damage on state-maintained roads, but many of the roads in the area are private property, according to the department.
When the neighborhood was planned in 2005, officials predicted that the road would need improvements.
Gramling Brothers donated 200-plus acres to the school district to build Cane Bay High, which has more than 1,400 students; 700-student Cane Bay Elementary: and Cane Bay Middle, which will open next week with more than 400 students and grow to a capacity of 900.
Reach Brenda Rindge at 937-5713 or www.facebook.com/brindge.