CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Charleston is one step closer to transforming an abandoned railroad line into a park.
The U.S. Department of Transportation awarded the City of Charleston a $7 million RAISE grant that will go towards the Lowcountry Lowline Project. RAISE stands for Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equality.
According to officials, the Lowcountry Lowline project is a plan to turn the abandoned railroad line under Interstate 26 into a nearly two-mile linear park. The city is working with the nonprofit, Friends of the Lowcountry Lowline to make the project happen.
“The idea of the Lowline, is to put more green spaces, more recreational spaces, more amenities for folks in the adjacent neighborhoods,” said Kaylan Koszela, the Special Projects Manager for the City of Charleston.
One of the top priorities of the project is to provide safe means of transportation for residents up and down the peninsula through bike and pedestrian paths.
According to officials, the park will connect neighborhoods from the upper peninsula to the downtown area after the two were divided by I-26.
“That’s highly densely residential on that part of the peninsula and all of the jobs are downtown,” said Koszela.
While leaders have an idea of what the space will look like, they said it’s up to the community to decide what they want to see.
“A part of the $7 million, a big part of that, is for us to go into the community, have community feedback on the least little thing about where benches should be,” said Pastor Matthew Rivers, a board member for Friends of the Lowcountry Lowline.
According to Koszela, one of the next steps in the process is to meet with the Dept. of Transportation.