JASPER COUNTY, SC (WSAV) – It’s a gateway for travelers between I-95 and the rest of the Lowcountry.

Soon that improved highway in Jasper County will help make it smooth sailing for drivers headed home – or to the beach.

Odds are you may not know where Highway 462 is, but you have driven it you probably haven’t enjoyed the ride.

Jasper County officials know that, and are one step closer to improving a road while helping local businesses at the same time.

“This road is in bad repair, it needs to be fixed,” says Oregon Cooler.

Oregon Cooler would know. She’s run the gas station and store on Highway 462 for 45 years and lives right down the road.

“When I come out of my driveway I have to mash the gas,” says Cooler. “You have to look both ways but you have to move fast because you have cars coming from both sides.”

“There’s an awful lot of traffic on that road and its a safety concern,” said Marty Sauls, Jasper County Council Chairman.

Jasper County officials have driven this stretch themselves one too many times, so they brought the South Carolina Department of Transportation down to take a look, and ride, for themselves.

“There’s a lot of new residents,” explains Sauls. “Their families are coming to visit, spend time with family so our traffic has increased three fold at least.”

And as the “shortcut” between I-95 and Highway 278, nearly 3 million visitors to Hilton Head could use the 6-7 miles of pothole-laden street.

Not to mention the 35,000 people that now live in Jasper County.

So the proposed improvements to Highway 462, Highway 17 and Highway 278 in the county are driving home the point, Jasper County is growing and working to get better, one road at a time.

“Right now the growth has outpaced our infrastructure so we have some catching up to do,” explains Sauls. “To make sure we are taking steps in the right direction to make sure we are upgrading and looking for expanded opportunities to satisfy the needs of our citizens.”

The multi-million dollar project is expected to be part of a larger package of road projects sauls calls “vital” to the area.

Highway 462 could be the first of those approved and work should start this coming Spring.