New traffic light adds one more stop for 501 drivers

If you travel on Hwy. 501 between Conway and Carolina Forest, be ready to add a little extra time to your commute. In a few weeks a new traffic light is expected to be turned on at the intersection of Wild Wing Boulevard.

For residents who want to turn onto 501, there's a general consensus.

"It is a dangerous area so we've needed this traffic light for a long time," said seven year resident Richard Doughten.

"You've got cars coming from two different directions plus cars coming across to go straight, make lefts, some of them are making rights. It's crazy," agreed Chuck Baumblatt

Today more people have moved into housing developments at Wild Wing which has increased traffic. Several cars waiting in the median at the same time are common.

In the last two years Conway police responded to 24 car accidents.

"I swear someone's going get killed there one of these days. Especially if you try to get out of here at about eight o'clock in the morning when kids are in a hurry to get to class they take up all lanes of that and they just jump right into traffic," said Ed Russo.

Those who drive on 501 with no intentions of turning into Wild Wing or Burning Ridge don't have much say in the matter.

"You're going to have another light that you're gonna have to contend with but I say too bad. I think they could've done a better job with putting frontage roads in. I mean if they would've given us frontage roads to either Gardner Lacy or up to where Lowe's I think that would've solved the problem. But without a frontage road I guess the lights the next best thing," added Russo.

There are people who live in the development that don't agree with its installation.

The majority of the project is being paid for by FLF IV-SBI, they own Wild Wing. The group had to get permission from the SCDOT to put up the traffic light. Graeme Black described it as an "arduous project" that took several years. It included proving there was a need. Individual property owners will not be assessed a fee for the work.

C. L. Benton and Sons are doing the work on the intersection. Carson Benton said what they've done has cost close to $700,000. The SCDOT is taking care of the paving and striping. Benton said that work is estimated to be more than $300,000.