MOUNT PLEASANT -- The town will condemn 1,641 square feet of residential property on Hamlin Road to help increase a stretch of U.S. Highway 17 to six lanes, but no houses will be affected.

Town Council made the decision Tuesday night after emerging from an hour-long meeting behind closed doors. The condemnation will take a small slice of the residential property but no homes, Town Attorney Allen Young said. The identity of the property owner wasn't immediately available.

Council also approved further settlement discussions for acquiring three properties needed for the highway project. They are 450 square feet at the northeast corner of the Isle of Palms connector and U.S. 17 that is part of a storage facility detention pond parcel; 399 square feet of vacant commercial property on U.S. 17 at Sam Edwards Road; and 625 square feet of vacant commercial property at U.S. 17 and South Morgan's Point Road. If settlement discussions fail on the U.S. 17 properties near the Isle of Palms connector and near Sam Edwards Road, council authorized that staff proceed with condemnation.

The properties are needed for the widening of five miles of U.S. 17 from Isle of Palms connector to Darrell Creek Trail. The road is being widened from four lanes to six lanes. The $15 million project includes $3.3 million in federal tax dollars and $3 million in Charleston County sales tax funds. The town is paying for the rest of the work.

The town needs to have the property negotiations settled by the end of the year so road work can begin on the five-mile stretch of highway. The project will connect with the six-laning of Johnnie Dodds Boulevard from the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge. That $70 million project is being funded with county half-cent RoadWise funds. The entire project from the bridge to Darrell Creek Trail is expected to take three years.

On Tuesday night, council also voted to increase its offer for 195 square feet of residential property needed for the widening of Bowman Road.

At its meeting last month, council voted to condemn two pieces of property in the path of the U.S. 17 widening project from Isle of Palms connector to Darrell Creek Trail. The condemnation of one-third of an acre near Boone Hall was necessary because of unresolved issues relating to the title on the land. A 66-square-foot tract at U.S. 17 and Hamlin Road was condemned because the owner of the land can't be located. In all, 24 pieces of land are needed for the work.

The road work is expected to result in smoother traffic flow on U.S. 17, particularly around the Brickyard Plantation subdivision. In addition to the condemnations, the five-mile project affects more than 100 property owners who will need to have their driveways regraded by the town. Most of those affected have agreed to the work, officials said.