CCU to take on University Blvd., to increase campus safety

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - Safety is an issue on roads in our area, and a recent road agreement from SC Department of Transportation to Coastal Carolina University is now giving CCU a chance to take safety measures in their own hands.

In the past, CCU officials have requested additional traffic lights, speed bumps and pedestrian timers on University Boulevard, many requests which SCDOT denied. University Boulevard connects two of the busiest and dangerous roads for pedestrians: U.S. 501 and S.C. 544.

SCDOT is handing over the road to CCU, and they plan to make some significant changes, but before Costal takes over the responsibility for road maintenance, it needs to be repaved. That work will be paid for and conducted by the county Transportation Committee. Paving will take place starting in May, through August 1, when students are not on campus.

Once that work is done, CCU will accept the road and be in charge of the cost of keeping up with University Blvd. Costal officials told WMBF News they plan to reduce the speed limit, install elevated crosswalks at intersections, and install blinking caution lights.

"Our estimate is that we need to put aside $70,000 a year, which ends up being about $10 a student," says Eddie Dyer, CCU Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.

The university says the money will come from the operating budget, and they will not raise tuition.

"We prefer not to take the road but if it means better safety for our students, we'll take the road and we'll escrow enough funds to pave it every 10 years or so, Dyer says.

When it comes to student safety, you can't take cost too much into consideration, Dyer added.

SCDOT says they're not against these safety measures, they just do not fall in their standard operation procedures and they can not make an exception to the rules.

Copyright 2014 WMBF News. All rights reserved.