McMillan, Claude Richelieu | South Carolina Public Radio


“M” is for McMillan, Claude Richelieu [1899-1961]. Engineer. After graduating from USC with a degree in civil engineering, McMillan went to work with the South Carolina Highway Department. In 1941, the able engineer and administrator was named state highway engineer. As state engineer, he advocated the change from concrete to bituminous-surfaced roads. In 1948, he became Chief Highway Commissioner. His tenure was one of unparalleled growth. He created a division to oversee license examinations and the Highway Patrol. In 1950, he successfully lobbied for a one-cent increase in the state gasoline tax to fund the construction and maintenance of the state’s burgeoning highway system. To him, the key to safe roadways was the construction of controlled-access highways with frontage roads. The pinnacle of Claude Richelieu McMillan’s tenure came when the U.S. Congress authorized $98 million over three years for South Carolina’s interstate highway system.