South Carolina Highway 61
|Maintained by SCDOT|
|Length:||67.3 mi (108.3 km)|
|Existed:||1923 – present|
|Ashley River Road|
|West end:||US 78 near Branchville|
| US 21 near Branchville
I‑95 near Walterboro
I‑526 in Charleston
SC 165 near Summerville
US 17 in Charleston
|East end:||SC 30 in Charleston|
|Counties:||Charleston, Dorchester, Colleton, Bamberg|
South Carolina Highway 61 is a 67.3-mile (108.3 km) long highway in the U.S. state of South Carolina. The highway is designated on an east–west direction, from U.S. Route 78 near Branchville to South Carolina Highway 30 in Charleston. The portion of Highway 61 from Church Creek Bridge and ten miles (16 km) north is designated a National Scenic Byway. 
St. Andrew's Boulevard
The east-most section of Highway 61 is named St. Andrew's Boulevard. This section runs from Highway 17 to Highway 171. It is mostly residential buildings that have been rezoned commercial.
Ashley River Road
Ashley River Road is the portion of Highway 61 that runs through Charleston near the Ashley River from Highway 171 to SC 165. It is four lanes near Sam Rittenberg Blvd., but becomes two lanes through the scenic stretch. Along the two-lane stretch, there are many large oaks and historic plantations. The Highway 61/Ashley River Road exit from I-526 actually exits onto Paul Cantrell Boulevard.
Points of interest along Ashley River Road:
- Drayton Hall
- Magnolia Plantation and Gardens and the Audubon Swamp Garden
- Middleton Place Plantation
- Shadowmoss Plantation - Golf Club & Residential
- MacLaura Hall - Private Residential
Beech Hill Road
Beech Hill Road is the section of Highway 61 that runs from Highway 165 to Highway 17A. The Legend Oaks Plantation is south of this section of highway.
Augusta Highway is the longest section of Highway 61 from Highway 17A to the west-most end of Highway 61 where it merges into Highway 78.
Ashley River Road
Ashley River Road 2.9 mi N of Bees Ferry Rd 2
|Nearest city||Summerville, South Carolina|
|Area||95 acres (38 ha)|
|Part of||Ashley River Historic District (#93001514)|
|NRHP Reference #||83003831|
|Added to NRHP||November 21, 1983|
- SC 30 in James Island
- US 17 in Charleston
- SC 171 in Johns Island
- SC 7 in Johns Island
- Interstate 526 in Charleston
- SC 165 east of Summerville
US 17 Alt. east of Summerville
- SC 27 in Givhans
- SC 651 east of Canadys
- US 15 in Canadys
- Interstate 95 west of Canadys
- SC 217 west of Smoaks
- US 21 south of Branchville
- US 78 east of Branchville
Developers continue to build more homes further and further down Ashley River Rd. A great deal of controversy was created about overdevelopment when the City of North Charleston annexed the 6,600-acre tract known as Watson Hill. The tract was sold by MeadWestvaco to private developers who then requested the annexation by North Charleston. The town of Summerville tried to rush an annexation to block North Charleston which ended in a court battle. Summerville later rescinded and backed away from its annexation attempt. The slump in the economy, 2008-2010, forced these developers to sell and the property was repurchased by MeadWestvaco. A plan for lower density development was then presented to North Charleston. It is obvious that more houses equates to more traffic on the already congested two-lane road. The people living in the homes want the road widened for them. Developers want it widened to justify building more homes. However, expanding the road will require the removal of many of the oak trees. Because the oaks are the reason that the highway was granted National Scenic Byway status, removal of the oaks will cause it to lose the status and lose National Scenic Byway Federal funding for maintenance.
A recent public meeting suggested that if development is to occur, instead of widening Ashley River Road to alleviate congestion, Glenn McConnell Parkway, also known as SC Highway 461, could be extended beyond its terminus at Bees Ferry Road. This is possible since Glenn McConnell Parkway runs parallel to Highway 61.
- Angel Fire's South Carolina Highway guide
- Bill Information - South Carolina Legislature Online
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09.
- Wylie, Suzanne Pickens; Norman McCorkle (August 23, 1983). "Ashley River Road" (PDF). National Register of Historic Places - Nomination and Inventory. Retrieved 9 June 2012.
- "Ashley River Road, Charleston County (S.C. Hwy. 61 btw. Church Creek & S.C. Hwy. 165, Charleston & Summerville vicinities, Charleston & Dorchester Counties)". National Register Properties in South Carolina. South Carolina Department of Archives and History. Retrieved 9 June 2012.
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