From the moment nearly a decade ago when the PGA of America announced plans to stage its 2012 PGA Championship
at Kiawah Island’s iconic Ocean Course
, the biggest question has been not if the Pete Dye-designed course can challenge the world’s best players – but rather, how to get everyone that wants to see it happen into and out of the island’s restricted areas.
Recently, the PGA’s Traffic and Safety Committee announced its plans
to do just that in the most efficient and time-saving manner possible. The plan documents routes to public parking, drop-off and carpooling options, shuttle details as well as other important information.
“We’ve been working since 2010 to create a safe and effective travel plan for spectators” said Roger Warren, president of Kiawah Island Resort and general chairman of the 2012 PGA Championship. “It’s our hope that, in years to come, people will continue to talk about the PGA Championship as a well-planned, memorable event.”
The Traffic and Safety Committee, made up of 35 state, county and local officials, has as its goal for the 210,000 anticipated spectators – 30,000 a day, Monday-Sunday of tournament week – to “travel safely to the Championship throughout the seven-day period,” a spokesman said.
Deputies in uniform will be posted at critical intersections on the roadways to and from Kiawah Island, and additional roving patrols on motorcycles will respond to traffic incidents along the travel routes, officials said. Other traffic control measures include tow trucks on standby at multiple locations, and adjustments to trash and recycling collection times.
“We realize that people who are not attending the event will also need to travel these roadways,” said Major Oliver Puckett, Charleston County Sheriff and Incident Commander assigned to the event. “Te state, county and cities are all working together to provide the lowest traffic impact to the local community.”
Two travel routes have been designated for fans attending the tournament. The Orange Route, for traffic traveling northbound or eastbound from outside the Charleston area
(including Savannah, Hilton Head Island, Columbia and Interstate 95 traffic) will use U.S. 17 and turn onto Main Road, which becomes Bohicket Road, then follow signage to PGA Public Parking. Thousands of onsite spaces will be available at Freshfield’s, a Kiawah Island shopping center.
The Green Route, for traffic from all areas north of Kiawah (including local communities James Island, Charleston and Mount Pleasant), will use Maybank Highway, turning left onto River Road, then left onto Betsy Kerrison Parkway and follow signage to PGA Public Parking.
Peak traffic times for locals on Main Road, Bohicket Road, River Road and Maybank Highway will be 7 to 11 a.m. (traffic toward Kiawah) and 4 to 7 p.m. (away from the island). Drivers should allow for additional travel time and heavy traffic.
In addition, shuttle buses for the PGA Championship will run from sites in downtown Charleston during the tournament. There will be no vehicle access or public parking on Kiawah Island without PGA-issued credentials.
For complete information on all details included in the PGA Championship Traffic and Parking Plan, click here