CLEMSON, SC (WSPA) — A $21 million road widening project is in the works for Clemson University.
The project could bring major improvements to Perimeter Road, that will impact students and visitors.
Clemson University’s Board of Trustees have approved the pedestrian safety project.
“At last week’s board of trustees meeting, the board approved a pedestrian safety project, as it relates to Perimeter Road, and we’re excited to continue the process of approvals through the state approval process. And if granted, we look to complete that project in the Summer of 2023,” said Joe Galbraith, Associate Vice President for Communications at Clemson University.
Perimeter Road is known for its heavy traffic. The road is also used frequently for sporting events, like football games.
“It’s a smaller road, so if you get stuck behind someone slow or there’s something like an event going on that’s kind of holding up traffic, like it can be difficult to maneuver around,” said Emily Walker.
Now the project will widen a portion of the road that is two lanes, to four lanes. The construction project covers a 1.3 mile stretch from Cherry Road to Highway 76, past the Botanical Gardens.
“It will be a road widening, as well as a multimodal path, which will include a bike path, walking area,” said Galbraith. “So really the highlight is pedestrian safety in that corridor of Perimeter Road.”
“I run down this road all the time, but I have to stop at Cherry Road, because there’s not a sidewalk,” said Clemson student Michaela Cuoco. “So when there’s a sidewalk hopefully there, that will be so much better. So I’m so supporting this widening, so I can run further and not have to stop and turn around.”
Galbraith said emergency call boxes and safety lighting will also be installed in the project. There will also be a connection to the city of Clemson’s portion of the Green Crescent Trail to Central.
“So, it depends on the state approval process before construction can begin,” Galbraith explained. “But if that is obtained, it’s about an 18-month construction project start to finish.”
The university said while the main focus is on pedestrian safety and reducing traffic congestion in the heart of campus, it will also help to alleviate traffic on other roads and special events.
“I think it’s definitely worth it,” Cuoco said. “I just hope it gets done fast. I hope it doesn’t take long.”
Galbraith also said all traffic lights will be upgraded to smart signals on Perimeter Road. He also that a signal light could be added at the Botanical Gardens’ main entrance at Lightsey Bridge Apartments. Additional study and traffic counts will determine if this will be recommended by the design team.
Galbraith also said the $21 million funding is coming from state bonds. The school hopes the project will start next spring, with it being complete the Summer of 2023.