HANAHAN, S.C. (WCBD) – Work to extend Railroad Avenue is underway in Hanahan. But after seeing the construction, one person who lives near the project says they have some concerns.
Trees are being removed along the railroad tracks to make room for a two-lane road that will soon connect a portion of Hanahan that currently can only be accessed by using Rivers Avenue.
“There are so many concerns,” said Thomas Cato. “The one that really bothers me: the quality of water. The Goose Creek Reservoir supplies Berkeley County, Charleston County, and parts of Dorchester County. So, the runoff from that extension will run into the reservoir.”
Cato lives in the Lakewood Lodge Apartments which is located between the railroad and the Goose Creek reservoir.
A portion of the 1.2-mile Railroad Avenue extension is being constructed between the train tracks and the apartment complex.
He’s also worried about wildlife near the project.
“The area right beside the wildlife preserve will have to be severely impacted by increasing that roadbed,” he said. “There’s pelicans, there’s egrets, there’s the fish- a lot of people that love to fish and they’re catching bass all day long.”
Cato says the way the tracks and road will be laid out will increase noise for people in the nearby apartments.
“Since the railroad track is up at the top of the hill, the water reserve is at the bottom of the hill, the noise at the top of the hill will propagate out into the water.”
Berkeley County and Hanahan officials say this extension is needed to allow emergency services to access Otranto and Eagle Landing subdivisions in case an emergency happens, and a train was to block the railroad crossings.
Right now, there is no way in or out other than driving over train tracks.
The South Carolina Department of Transportation performed an environmental assessment on the project. It says the impact is acceptable – you can read a copy of that report by clicking here.
Still, Cato says believes the impact is going to be too great, and it will make living at his home more difficult.
“They’re definitely going to have problems getting people and now that the tree line has been cut down and there’s going to be traffic right up against the buildings in the apartment complex.”
Construction on the project began earlier this month.
Officials with SCDOT say it should take about 18 months to complete.