Highway improvements aim to cut down commute times in Mt. Pleasant

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MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCSC) - Charleston County officials are set to move forward with a million-dollar project designed to drastically reduce commute times along Highway 41 in Mount Pleasant.

The project focuses on the intersections where Highway 41 meets Highway 17 and Joe Rouse Road.

The current plan is an interim one and aims at relieving congestion along the highway until a larger project is done. That final project is not set to be complete until 2025 while this project could be done as early as this summer.

Neighbors in the area, like Gregg Robinson, say the improvements are badly needed.

“In the morning it usually takes about two or three light cycles to get out," he says. "Coming up 41 in the afternoon, it’s 45 minutes from 17, easily, to get to here.”

Commute times from Harpers Ferry to Gregorie Ferry Road will be brought from 15 minutes to a little less than six minutes, according to the plans. The Harpers Ferry to Hamlin Road stretch will drop from just under 18 minutes to just under eight minutes.

One of the fixes is reconfiguring the existing signalized intersection at Joe Rouse Road and Highway 41. The county’s plans said that intersection is “approaching capacity and will continue to see increased congestion.”

The other fix would change the signal timing at Highway 17 and Highway 41. A construction project here would also take place. That looks at providing additional traffic relief and significant reductions in delays for the entire corridor.

“That right hand southbound lane always has a green light, and that keeps them from cueing up and starting again," Charleston County project manager Cal Oyler said. "And what you have is a lot of natural gaps in the traffic and you have a free flow situation.”

The design and permitting phases on this project are scheduled to be completed in the next few months while the construction is set to be done this summer.

Copyright 2020 WCSC. All rights reserved.

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