Mayor says Mount Pleasant traffic troubles will soon be over

MOUNT PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) - As Mayor Billy Swails of Mount Pleasant prepares for his State of the Town address he says that traffic troubles in Mount Pleasant will soon be over.

The Johnnie Dodds Boulevard project is well underway and town officials say you can expect traffic relief within 24 to 30 months.

"I usually don't even come down 17. I go down Mathis Ferry to avoid this intersection," driver Kathryn Hecker said.

Traffic is a daily dilemma for drivers on Johnnie Dodds Boulevard. The stretch of U.S. Highway 17 is estimated to carry more than 50,000 vehicles a day.

"The number one complaint we've got going on in the Town of Mount Pleasant is traffic congestion," Mayor Billy Swails said."You folks who are West of the Ashley, you know it's not as bad. Theirs is a lot worse than ours. When it's completed we will not have a number one complaint."

Charleston County Roadwise started the $83 million improvement project late last year. Kickin chicken co-owner David Miller says the road construction has not helped business.

"We're going to have to find ways to make it worth their while to circle around and get in here with specials or discounts, ramp up on our deliveries," Miller said."This is part of infrastructure building so we're just going to have to fight through it."

The project includes improvements from the Ravenel Bridge to Interstate 526 interchange, widening from two lanes to three lanes in both directions and  pedestrian crosswalks at major intersections.

"Bowman Road is actually where a lot of people come through so I'm glad they're doing it, but while they're doing it, it's not good," driver Michael Dippold said.

Starting Wednesday, a lane of Johnnie Dodds will be closed near the Stuckey furniture store. Work will take place from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m., Monday through Thursday for one month.

Also starting Wednesday, parts of East Frontage Road will be closed to traffic. Work will take place from 9 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday for one month.

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