CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – A plan to transform an abandoned railroad line in Charleston is moving full steam ahead.

On Tuesday, city leaders met to discuss the latest on the Lowcountry Lowline Project. The plan is to convert the old rail line into a two-mile-long linear park. The project will span from Mt. Pleasant Street to Marion Square.

Mayor John Tecklenburg said the project will also include more affordable housing, as well as bike and pedestrian paths.

Last week, the city was awarded a $7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation. Mayor Tecklenburg said this money will be used in the planning phase which will include gathering public input, meeting with the South Carolina Department of Transportation, and clearing up environmental issues.

According to the mayor, the next big step is to focus on the environmental aspect.

“When it was a rail line, they used to use, in the old days, arsenic to kill the weeds and so we might have to clean up a little bit of that,” said Tecklenburg.

Mayor Tecklenburg predicts the total build-out will take about five years.

Officials said Charleston neighborhoods were divided by the construction of Interstate 26 back in the 1960s. They hope the project will reconnect the city.

“Come and talk with us. Come and lend your voice to this project because we don’t want to just do it. We want this to be a project of inclusion for everybody,” said Pastor Matthew Rivers, a board member of Friends of the Lowcountry Lowline.

Last year, the city allocated $3 million to the project.