Mount Pleasant drivers seeking alternative routes

MOUNT PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) - Orange cones, large construction equipment, and slower speed limits are what drivers traveling the busiest road in town, Johnnie Dodds Boulevard, are dealing with everyday.

The most recent roadwork by the Charleston County Roadwise program is necessary to install underground drainage pipes and prepare to put asphalt in place on Highway 17.

"Right now it is not so good. I drive that way every morning for work. It's kind of slow right now," Polly Peagler said.

Speed limits have been dropped to 35 mph while crews are at work, in the area near Anna Knapp Boulevard to the I-526 interchange. Drivers are using alternate routes to avoid the delays.

"To avoid being stalled in traffic, it's always backed up out there. So I just avoid it all together," Mattie Jenkins said.

Drivers say they are taking Mathis Ferry Road from near the Ravenel Bridge and getting back on to 17 at Venning Road.

Another option is using Coleman Boulevard from the Ravenel Bridge, then using Chuck Dawley Boulevard or Rifle Range Road to Venning Road to get back onto 17.

The frontage roads running parallel to Highway 17 are still open, but at certain times of day you can expect some lane closures. The project will eventually widen Highway 17 from four to six lanes.

"I hope it will be great. I hope you can come off the bridge and not have to wait so long to get where you're going and you can get there quickly," Meg and Casey Malanuk said.

"It will be much better when it's all finished," Peagler said.

The goal of the project is to improve the traffic flow in and out of Mount Pleasant especially before and after school and work hours. It is expected to be completed in the fall of 2012.

The project is funded by the Charleston County Transportation Sales Tax through the Roadwise program.

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