Not too late to save the trees on Highway 61

Not too late to save the trees on Highway 61
October 01 16:27 2019 Print This Article

Public comment expires October 9 on the SCDOT project to widen SC Highway 61 in Dorchester County from Cook’s Crossroads (Highway 165) to the Charleston County line near Magnolia Gardens. The plans submitted call for clear-cutting zones extending up to 25 feet on both sides of the pavement and could result in the loss of nearly 300 trees 18 inches in diameter or wider near Middleton Place.

Jason Crowley from Coastal Conservation League told Lowcountry Source that Charleston County managed to resurface its section of Highway 61 in the Ashley River Historic District without removing a single tree. SCDOT bases its plans on the goal of reducing fatal and serious crashes on the scenic highway. Crowley believes that significant safety measures can be taken without removing trees.

Some of the possible safety measures for the highway are reducing the speed limit to 45 miles per hour (from 55), increased speeding enforcement, adding highway lighting (which would be the responsibility of Dorchester and Charleston counties), placing guardrails on the roadsides, adding a median barrier, and placing reflective markers along the highway.

Comments must be submitted to SCDOT on this form no later than Wednesday, October 9.