MOUNT PLEASANT, SC — The widening of Highway 41 in Mount Pleasant is a major priority for the town. But how much should be widened, and how soon? And who pays for it?
These are issues being debated in the community.
Robert Bonnette is the owner of Blue’s on Highway 41. “Well, it gets backed up pretty good in the morning, say from 6:30 p.m. until about 8:00 p.m., it backs everything up. Then in the afternoon it backs up pretty good too.”
Gauge Wood over at the Wando River Marina on 41 agrees. “It definitely gets backed up there. It can take you almost an hour to get from here to 17 when it’s really backed up.”
So Mount Pleasant is planning to widen some or perhaps all of Highway 41.
Charleston County Council Chairman Elliot Summey told the town in a letter that he believes the nearly $30 million needed to widen highway 41 from Highway 17 to the Wando River could be included in a one half cent sales tax bond referendum in the future.
The Mount Pleasant transportation committee this week voted 2 to 1 to send the proposal to Charleston County. New Mt Pleasant Councilman Will Haynie was the lone vote against the proposal.
He tells News 2 the town should do the work on its own, from 17 to Joe Rouse road, near the entrance to Park West. That would cost $7-$10 million, money Haynie says the town could afford without another tax hike. The rest of the work could be done later.
Bonnette says either way, a wider highway 41 will be good for business. “It could only help. (It) will be a really nice place to be. People will move into the neighborhoods and they gotta eat somewhere.”
Councilman Haynie says the proposal will have to go to the full council. That could be as soon as next Tuesday. We’ll find out if that is on the agenda Friday.
Work on widening Highway 41 would probably not get underway for at least a couple more years. The town of Mount Pleasant is going to add some turn lanes at Joe Rouse road in the meantime to help with traffic.