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Charleston County announces new plan for Highway 41

Published: Aug. 5, 2021 at 8:02 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 5, 2021 at 8:22 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The new plan for the Highway 41 Corridor Improvement scheme is headed to the full council for approval after being unveiled earlier tonight.

This plan is the latest of more than 20 alternatives the county has considered after public backlash stymied the original proposal in 2017. More than 130 community groups, organizations and individuals have voiced their concerns through 158 meetings.

County data shows they have received 6,479 comments over the last four years.

This new alternative, conveniently dubbed the 41/17 Compromise Alternative, will not require any businesses or homes to be moved but will still require development in some right-of-way areas of the Seven Mile Community. Most of Highway 17 will be expanded between Hamlin Road and Porchers Bluff Road to turn the six to nine lanes into six to 10 lanes.

Highway 17 Compromise
Highway 17 Compromise(Charleston County)

Meanwhile, the Highway 41 would be four lanes closer to the Wando River bridge and near the Highway 17 stop light, with three lanes in between.

Right of way impacts
Right of way impacts(Charleston County)

The county says the plan hinges on adding a new parkway off Highway 41 that will cuts through the Laurel Hill County Park. The two-lane Laurel Hill Parkway would require 22 acres of park land, but the county says it will provide a route to Park West Boulevard and immediately relieve traffic on Bessemer Road.

The compromise would also expand the left-hand turn at Winnowing Way to alleviate left turn congestion at the light on Highway 41 and Highway 17.

The whole project is expected to cost $148 million and, if approved, construction would start in 2025.

The county says this new approach takes community feedback into account at the cost of traffic functionality. The original plan would have accommodated traffic projections for 20 years. The compromise will need to be redesigned after 15.

At the meeting members of the Charleston County Finance Committee were impressed by the plan, but one of the main opposition groups – the Community Action Group for Encouragement or CAGE – says this new plan does not address their concerns.

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