Sangaree Pedestrian Bridge & Roundabout in Berkeley County

Royle Road at Sangaree Parkway was a dangerous intersection with the convergence of high volumes of vehicular and pedestrian traffic. Staff, parents, and children from nearby neighborhoods regularly crossed it while walking to and from Sangaree Elementary School.

The unthinkable happened when two crossing guards were hit (on separate occasions), making the situation even more severe.

Though both were hospitalized during their critical conditions, they survived—thankfully—and are doing well.

Recognizing the dangers of the intersection, Berkeley County took initiative to make serious changes to improve safety with a collaborative effort from the Berkeley County School District and South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT).

Davis & Floyd designed this $5.2 million project, largely funded by the county’s 2014 One-Cent Sales Tax Referendum.

Our team went to work, starting with a traffic study to understand the high volume of traffic coming from both directions. We concluded a roundabout would be the best option, forcing drivers to slow down while maintaining a constant flow as cars yield to those in the circle.

Continual vehicle movement reduces congestion and eliminates cross traffic all together with the removal of intersection points.

Our team also created an offset catch basin for the runoff from the roundabout’s legs to run into the curb & gutter slot. Once through the slot and in the catch basin, the water is released into a sewer pipe. This box separated water from the nearby utilities and saved the project time and money without needing to relocate most of the utilities.

One of the continual causes of traffic buildup was the nearby school’s car lines. With the linear feet available, we added a leg onto the school’s property to prevent cars from backing out onto the road and causing a gridlock of traffic in the roundabout.

Although the roundabout instantly improved vehicular safety, pedestrians usually do not cross roundabouts. Therefore, our structural engineers developed a pedestrian bridge over Royle Road along with sidewalks for those walking to and from school, removing conflict of pedestrians encountering vehicle traffic completely.

We designed ramps to lead up to the overpass. However, instead of building a bridge, we approached SCDOT about using an 88’ prefabricated steel truss acquired by the contractor and reviewed by the design team prior to fabrication.

Fabricating the truss off site saved Berkeley County money on construction costs and time. With the concrete ramps built, a crane lowered the steel truss and then bolted it in place. This method caused minimal delays and traffic concerns.

During the project’s ribbon-cutting ceremony in early 2023, Berkeley County honored the two crossing guards by displaying plaques at both ends of the pedestrian bridge.

These heroes were touched by this gesture and grateful for the improved safety for pedestrians. Sangaree Elementary School students wrote letters thanking everyone involved with the project, mentioning their happiness in having a safer crossing when walking to and from school.

The outcome of Sangaree Pedestrian Bridge & Roundabout successfully provides a significantly safer commute for walkers and drivers with reduced traffic congestion. Most importantly, parents in the surrounding community can rest easy knowing their children safely walk to and from school without crossing busy lanes of traffic.

Sangaree Pedestrian Bridge & Roundabout was an American Council of Engineering Companies of South Carolina (ACEC-SC) 2023 State Finalist.