Monday, June 3, 2024 Blog · News

PUBLIC HEARING: Highway 41 Improvements

by Lily Abromeit

The S.C. Department of Health & Environmental Control is holding a Public Hearing on June 5th to accept comments from residents on the Compromise Alternative for Highway 41 that seeks to equitably balance impacts to both nature and community.

Please attend the meeting and sign up to speak in support of the Compromise Alternative.

SCDHEC Public Hearing: SC Highway 41 Corridor Improvements 
Wednesday, June 5 at 6:00PM 
Wando High School Performing Arts Center 
1000 Warrior Way, Mount Pleasant, SC 29466 
RSVP here (RSVP is not required to attend) 

If you aren’t able to attend the meeting, please use the form below to submit written comments before June 20. We’ve written a draft letter, but encourage you to personalize it and add additional information. 

 

BACKGROUND

In 2020, Charleston County proposed widening Highway 41 to five-lanes through the Phillips community, an African American settlement area founded in 1875. The Phillips community, along with the Conservation League, many advocacy groups, and hundreds of residents from across Charleston County stood up and spoke out against this reckless, cut-and-paste proposal that would have destroyed Phillips, whose residents have been working hard for years to preserve their community while living with the scar of Highway 41 that was cut through their neighborhood in the 1940s.

Charleston County listened and responded by shelving that initial plan and redesigning a Compromise Alternative that balances the needs of ALL the communities along this portion of Highway 41 while minimizing impacts to the natural environment. In 2021, Charleston County Council voted unanimously to move this plan forward.

BALANCE

The vision of the Conservation League has always been one of nature and community in balance. This Compromise Alternative for Highway 41 is in absolute alignment with our values. Yes, wetlands will be impacted. But any substantial improvements to Highway 41, including the alternative proposed in 2020, would have impacts to wetlands. In total, the project will impact roughly 10 acres of wetlands. In comparison, the 526 Extension would destroy 38 acres of wetlands, nearly four times the impact. Every project must be appropriate for the surrounding area and balance impacts to all natural, historical, and cultural resources. With this Compromise Alternative, impacts to both wetlands and communities are minimized as much as possible and dispersed equitably throughout the project area. No single community has to bear the brunt of the impacts. And of course, any impacts to wetlands will require mitigation in accordance with state and federal policy.

You can learn more about the project design and next steps in the process here.

TALKING POINTS TO USE IN COMMENTS OR LETTERS

  • The Compromise Alternative minimizes impacts to wetlands and communities as much as possible.
  • The project only widens Highway 41 to three lanes through the Phillips community, which will increase safety while minimizing impacts to homes, businesses, and private property.
  • The Compromise Alternative impacts roughly half the number of properties that would have been impacted by the prior alternative.
  • The project reduces placement of resources located in the most flood-prone areas.
  • The project only impacts the edge of Laurel Hill Park where there are no current trails or amenities.
  • The project provides an opportunity to improve safety and connectivity for folks traveling on foot or by bicycle.

Please mark your calendars and plan to attend the Public Hearing on June 5th. It is vital that Charleston County residents continue to support this balanced compromise for Highway 41.


Contact Us

[email protected] · 843.723.8035

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