Many of my neighbors and I attended the July 14 Mount Pleasant Town Council meeting regarding the proposed Mill Creek shopping center to be built on two-lane Highway 41.
As one listened to the unanimous opinions opposing this development from the residents who would be adversely affected by additional development along the gridlocked Highway 41 corridor, a theme started to emerge, and it was not directed toward the proposed development.
The theme was “Fix 41 First.”
We have been told that federal funds to widen Highway 41 will not be available until 2019 and that a widened road will take four to five years to complete.
This means we are not expecting any road relief for approximately 10 years.
It is clear that Town Council should institute a moratorium on both residential and commercial development in this area until Highway 41 is widened. Instead, they voted to approve a development that is not needed or wanted at this time.
Once again, Town Council gave into a developer rather than listen to the will of its constituents.
A huge thank you to both Gary Santos and Thomasena Stokes-Marshall for their votes in opposition to the development and also to Bob Brimmer who spoke against this development at a recent Planning Commission meeting.
For now, we have thousands of people living in the existing developments that funnel out to Highway 41.
Thousands more will be coming from proposed developments along the Clement’s Ferry Road corridor.
Descriptive words for Highway 41 that I heard at the meeting included disaster, nightmare, catastrophe, terrible, horrible, dreadful, horrendous, awful, and interestingly, several of these words came from our Town Council members.
An important word that I also heard was “dangerous.” That is true as Highway 41 is our major evacuation route.
The daily gridlock that Highway 41 experiences used to be limited to a few hours each day for morning and evening rush hours.
The reality is that Highway 41 can be, and often is, gridlocked at any time through the day, such as at lunchtime on Monday, July 13, when it took me 30 minutes to drive three miles due to one disabled vehicle. I truly fear what will happen if an evacuation is required.
Town Council tells us that it constantly reaches out to our federal legislators for assistance in obtaining the necessary funding.
I ask that Sens. Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott, and Rep. Mark Sanford hold a series of local forums to hear their constituents’ concerns on this situation and report to us with updates on their efforts to obtain the necessary funding for widening Highway 41 as soon as possible.
To accept the fact that money will come our way in 2019 is just unacceptable.
This link will enable you to contact your local legislators —http://www.scstatehouse.gov/legislatorssearch.php.
The message — Fix 41 First.