News Release

Town of Hilton Head Island Logo

Update on Traffic Signal Issues on William Hilton Parkway/U.S. 278

March 8, 2023

Dear Hilton Head Island Community,

As you may be aware, we have been experiencing recent traffic signal issues at various locations within the SC Department of Transportation (SCDOT) resurfacing project areas along William Hilton Parkway/U.S. 278, especially at the safety enhancement project at the intersection of Squire Pope Road/Chamberlin Drive.

The recent issue at Squire Pope Road was attributed to the SCDOT safety enhancement project to add a signalized crosswalk and a flashing yellow arrow turn signal at this intersection. The work resulted in the loss of a signal detection loop, causing increased delays to eastbound traffic.

Replacing this detection loop is part of the SCDOT plans, and the sub-contractor has until March 31, 2023, to perform this work. Given our signal maintenance agreement with SCDOT, the Town, on Tuesday, March 7, directed our signal contractor (German Technical Group) to install a new detection loop in the westbound left turn lane onto Chamberlin Drive. The detection loop was installed successfully, and the Beaufort County signal technician reprogrammed the signal controller for the new flashing yellow arrow turn signals.

Additionally, as part of the William Hilton Parkway resurfacing project, other detection loops have been milled or disconnected. When the detection is lost, the signal will go into a default mode, whereby the lost detection lane, or phase, receives a maximum green time. This results in increased delay to other movements/phases. SCDOT contractors are required to re-install those loops. Engineering staff is monitoring traffic at these intersections and coordinating with SCDOT to ensure the loops are re-installed as soon as possible.

The new Adaptive Traffic Signal Management System the Town is installing will include camera radar detection on the signal mast arms. This will replace the need for in-pavement detection loops. The wiring for the new system is currently being installed, and we are awaiting delivery of the new detection equipment.

This afternoon, a separate issue was brought to our attention regarding the traffic signal at Palmetto Dunes (Queens Folly Road and King Neptune Drive). As soon as we were made aware, Town engineering technicians corrected a signal coordination issue in the controller.

Also, this afternoon, additional traffic signal issues occurred at the intersection Squire Pope Road/Chamberlin Drive causing significant rush hour delays for William Hilton Parkway motorists. Town engineering technicians responded to the intersection to reprogram the signal. During its reprogramming, Beaufort County Sheriff's Office deputies provided traffic control.

As of 5 pm today, the programming had been corrected and was running the correct signal timing plan.

The Town will continue to monitor and address any further traffic-related issues, and keep you informed.

Thank you for your patience throughout this important resurfacing project.

For additional information, contact Jeff Buckalew at the Town of Hilton Head island 843-341-4772 or

Note: To view this news release in Spanish or other native languages, choose your appropriate language from our dropdown menu on the upper right side of our website page.

Nota: Para ver este comunicado de prensa en español u otros idiomas nativos, visite y elija el idioma apropiado de nuestro menú desplegable en el lado superior derecho de la página de inicio del sitio web.

Carolyn Grant, Communications Director