‘Save Phillips’ signs line Highway 41 as proposed expansion project threatens the neighborhood

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Residents in the historic Phillips Community on Highway 41 in Mt. Pleasant are against some aspects of a proposed expansion project for 41. Now, they are finding new ways to share their concerns.

Dozens of signs now line the highway saying ‘Save Phillips’ and no to Alternative 1, one of the proposed directions the expansion project could take. The other, Alternative 7a, would re-route traffic behind the neighborhood and would not have any detriment to the community.

The goal of the project is to improve traffic flow on 41. But, some people who have lived in the Philips Community for their whole lives are worried they’re getting pushed out.

“It’ll come through the community and they said no houses will have to move but, some of the houses will be just feet, about 20 feet or less, from the highway,” said Richard Habersham, the president of the Phillips Community Association and fourth-generation neighborhood resident. “There’s no quality of life there.”

Habersham and others are pushing for Alternative 7a.

“With the five-lanes that they’re proposing, you won’t have a quality of life if you live on 41 or in the community cause it’ll make it harder for us to make a left turn out of our driveway,” said Habersham.

As a way to grab attention of town and county leaders community residents along with other organizations, posted the signs up and down Highway 41 near Phillips.

“The signs are Save Phillips. A historical settlement community that’s been here since 1875. Hate to say it but Dunes West just got here. Dunes West and Park West they just got here, what, in the last 30 years? So we’ve been here. We didn’t cause the traffic problem,” said Habersham.

Project leaders have received close to 3,000 public comments on the Highway 41 improvement project and they plan to present their findings, as well as recommendations for how to move forward, to Charleston County Council in November. The original date of the presentation was supposed to have been October 15th, but it was pushed back in order to give project leaders time to evaluate every comment.

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