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U.S. 176 and Nexton Parkway reopens to ease increased traffic caused by population growth

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Nexton Intersection 3.jpg

The U.S. 176/Nexton Parkway intersection improvement project will open to traffic on Wednesday.

An intersection near one of Berkeley County’s largest residential developments will reopen Wednesday after a year of construction to accommodate increased traffic in the area.

The project is at U.S. Highway 176 and Nexton Parkway. Turn lanes and electronic traffic signs have been added to ease the flow of cars.

Stoplights near the Nexton housing development won’t be activated until later in the year, when Cane Bay Spine Road is completed. Until then, stop signs have been placed on Nexton Parkway, and traffic will have to stop before making a right or left turn onto U.S. 176.

It’s one of many recent projects in the area designed to ease increased traffic flow. A project to make two additional exits in the Cane Bay development was announced last year amid mounting concern from residents.

Berkeley County Supervisor Johnny Cribb said the project will provide significant traffic relief. He added that paired with the Cane Bay Boulevard to Black Tom Road Connection, there will be several ways to access the developments on the road.

County spokeswoman Hannah Moldenhauer said in a statement that the project is expected to come in under the proposed $3.3 million budget. The improvements were funded by the One-Cent Sales Tax Program instituted in 2014.

The intersection improvement comes as three massive housing developments have caused Berkeley County’s population to explode. Increased traffic, predictably, came with it.

Berkeley County saw a surge of population growth when more than 6,000 people moved to the area in 2018, boosting the total population to more than 220,000, according to census figures.

And it’s still growing.

All together, the Cane Bay, Carnes Crossroads and Nexton developments have more more than 27,000 residences planned. It’s enough homes to comfortably fit the population of Greenville, one of the state’s largest cities.

The Nexton development alone is as big as the Charleston peninsula and extends across 5,000 acres from Interstate 26 to U.S. 176 in Berkeley County.

In the mid-2010s, traffic near the area got so bad that a road and interchange needed to be developed. That project was completed in 2018. With an $88 million price tag, the interchange, west of the I-26 off-ramps to Summerville at exit 199, was a big moment for longtime residents.

Plans are still in the works to widen U.S. 176 and Nexton Parkway, as population is expected to rapidly climb in the area.

Reach Thomas Novelly at 843-937-5713. Follow him @TomNovelly on Twitter.

Reach Thomas Novelly at 843-937-5713. Follow him @TomNovelly on Twitter.

Reach Thomas Novelly at 843-937-5713. Follow him @TomNovelly on Twitter. 

Thomas Novelly reports on the military community across South Carolina. He also covers growth and development in Berkeley County. Previously, he wrote for the Courier Journal in Louisville, Kentucky. He is a fan of Southern rock, bourbon and horse racing.