| 1923 – present|
SC 30 in Charleston
| Ashley River Road|
| US 78 west of Branchville|
Bamberg County, South Carolina
South Carolina Highway 61 (SC 61) is a 67.3-mile (108.3 km) long state highway in the U.S. state of South Carolina. The highway is designated on an east–west direction, from U.S. Route 78 (US 78) near Branchville to SC 30 in Charleston. The portion of SC 61 from Church Creek Bridge and 10 miles (16 km) north is designated a National Scenic Byway.
South Carolina Highway 61 Wikipedia
The eastern-most section of SC 61 is named St. Andrew's Boulevard. This section travels from US 17 to SC 171. It is mostly residential buildings that have been rezoned commercial.
Ashley River Road is the portion of SC 61 that travels through Charleston near the Ashley River from SC 171 to SC 165. It is four lanes near Sam Rittenberg Boulevard, but becomes two lanes through the scenic stretch. Along the two-lane stretch, there are many large oaks and historic plantations. The SC 61/Ashley River Road exit from Interstate 526 (I-526) actually exits onto SC 461 (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 is the section of SC 61 that travels from SC 165 to US 17A. The Legend Oaks Plantation is south of this section of highway.
Augusta Highway is the longest section of SC 61 from US 17A to the westernmost end of SC 61 where it merges into US 78.
Some or all of Ashley River Road was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983. In 1993, it was included in the Ashley River Historic District.
Developers continue to build more homes further and further down Ashley River Road. 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 Summerville later rescinded and backed away from its annexation attempt.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 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 461, could be extended beyond its terminus at Bees Ferry Road. This is possible since Glenn McConnell Parkway travels parallel to SC 61.