Advocacy Alert: Highway 41 Revised County Steps Up for Phillips Community
preservation-admin , March 5, 2021
Map of revised plan for the Highway 41 Improvement Project
Yesterday, Charleston County Council voted to advance a new preferred alternative for the Highway 41 Improvement Project as an effort to reduce impacts to the Phillips Community in Mt. Pleasant. We are encouraged by the direction of the new plan, which diverts traffic around Phillips on a new 4-lane road connecting with Bessemer Road, and look forward to reviewing the details of the proposal.
Supporters of Phillips from around the region directly impacted this outcome. The consultant for the project cited the unprecedented level of public participation playing a key role in the decision to pivot away from the “Alternative 1” plan that would have widened the highway directly through Phillips, causing irreparable damage to the historic community. Nearly 3,000 individual comments were submitted to the County, in addition to 53 articles and op-eds written, and engagement from 17 nonprofits and other organizations.
Thank you to all who spoke up on this important issue – your voices were heard! We are energized by this collaborative community effort and are most grateful to the dedicated residents of the Phillips Community. The Preservation Society is proud to stand with the Phillips residents and our incredible community partners at the Coastal Conservation League, Historic Charleston Foundation, Southern Environmental Law Center, Charleston Moves, Gullah Geechee Heritage Corridor Commission, and Center for Heirs’ Property Preservation to defend the preservation of this community. It is a win not just for Phillips, but for other African American settlement communities seeking greater recognition of their unique and often-overlooked cultural significance.
While County Council spoke favorably of the new alternative, the County still needs to formally adopt it as its preferred plan for relieving traffic congestion along the Highway 41 corridor. The consultant will next present the revised proposal to the Mt. Pleasant Town Council next Tuesday, March 9. If you live in Mt. Pleasant, please contact your representative and encourage them to support the revised alternative.
The proposal will then return to County Council for further discussion and a vote later this month. We will keep you informed on how to engage to help us keep momentum on this important milestone – stay tuned!