Intersection along 17 bypass could close

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW)-The Department of Transportation recently removed the turn lane at the Shetland Lane intersection after two deadly crashes. Lauderdale Bay intersection is the very next intersection, just up the road and there’s been several crashes there too. Any changes to the Lauderdale Bay intersection are very preliminary but DOT is doing a traffic study on the intersection. They are studying traffic patters, speed and looking at the total amount of crashes. Since 2011, there have been 28 crashes at the Lauderdale Bay intersection, eight crashes involved injuries and one crash in 2015 was deadly.

Many drivers jet in front of oncoming traffic, stall a little bit before reaching the median nearly causing several crashes. News13 spoke with people who live nearby and they said they want a traffic light because every time they have to do a left turn onto the bypass, they question if they have enough time to jet to the middle. I spoke with a traffic engineer and he said a light is not the solution.

“Most of the time accident rates are higher at traffic lights then they are at other intersections because you are asking people to slow down, stop, make decisions, rear  end collisions usually go way up at traffic lights,” said Mike Bethea, DOT traffic engineer.

Bethea said the department should have the traffic study results within the next two weeks. Leaders will then decide what to do with the Lauderdale Bay intersection.

News13 will keep you updated.

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