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      Johnnie Dodds construction turns to beautification

      Photo by Rebecca Lamb

      By Stacy Jacobsonsjacobson@abcnews4.com

      MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) -- A third lane opened in the last few days on Jonnie Dodds Boulevard in Mount Pleasant. It's relief for drivers who have endured years of construction on the thoroughfare.

      "It just kind of seems like a bunch of orange cones that sit around,"{}said Nicole Price, who often visits Mount Pleasant from Georgia for her pet's veterinary treatment.

      She said she has been to Mount Pleasant about{}six times in the last{}two months. The roadwork hasn't made her visits easy, she said.

      "The construction is really confusing for an outsider because I don't know the area," she said.

      But, for those who live in Mount Pleasant, the $55.5 million project is more tolerable.

      "The construction hasn't bothered me. I'm from D.C. so this is quite minor compared to what I'm used to," Rosie Herold said.

      "It's a little bit of a problem with the different orange cones and flag men, but once it's all done it'll be worth it," Michael Schade said.

      Still, it's people like Price that Mount Pleasant officials want to attract in the future.

      "We'd like them to look at Mount Pleasant and say, 'Hey this is a beautiful area. We'd like to stay here for a while," said Ed Barbee, Mount Pleasant town liaison for road projects.

      The construction{}also works{}to improve the look of Highway 17 in Mount Pleasant. That's why the town has installed plants like Palmetto trees and other shrubbery.

      "Yes we could go out there and just build a road and have all bare concrete. But the beautification helps the businesses," Barbee said.

      Town officials said the new{}irrigation system will cost around $75,000. Then they'll have to allot for maintenance. Officials said{}they don't have a budget yet. But, Schade said he thinks{}it's all worth it.

      "It's Charleston. We do things the right way. You don't take shortcuts and if you're going to do it, you do it right," he said.{}

      "I hope it's worth it. Fingers are crossed," Herold said.

      The construction is supposed to finish in spring 2013.

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