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      Town celebrates Hwy.17 construction ending

      By Stefanie Bainumsbainum@abcnews4.com

      MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) - A sea of orange cones might not be completely gone yet, but that has not stopped Town of Mount Pleasant and Charleston County officials from celebrating the near completion of the Johnnie Dodds construction project.

      At 11 a.m. Monday, a ceremony will be held at 512 Johnnie Dodds Blvd. to celebrate the ending of a two-year, $84 million construction project. The project is set to be fully completed in the spring of 2013, but parts of it are already finished ahead of schedule.

      "I think it's great; it's really made traffic much easier to get up and down (Highway) 17," said driver Richard Ward. "Obviously, with more lanes it makes the traffic move more freely."

      "I'm really glad it's finished. It looks nice; it was a pain but it's finished and that's great," said driver Dick Whitefield.

      Drivers also shared what they like most about the new roads.

      "The third lane and now the work is almost completed they moved the speed limit from 35 (mph) back up to 45 (mph) which makes traveling down the road a little easier as well," Ward said.

      "Speed, gets me where I want to go faster not as much traffic, at least for now," Whitefield said.

      According to officials, the goal of the project is to improve traffic flow in and out of Mount Pleasant, something leaders said is exactly what they have done. The completed aspects of the construction project include the finished overpass at Bowman Road and the addition of a third lane both northbound and southbound on Johnnie Dodds Boulevard.

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