The completion project for I-526 was revived on Tuesday after the State Infrastructure Bank board voted to begin working toward a new contract for the completion of the project. It would extend the highway from West Ashley to the James Island connector. Some said the decision would be good for the Charleston area while others disagree.
“This is a great day for Charleston County,” said County Councilman Brantley Moody. “It’s an even better day for West Ashley and the islands. This has been a long time coming.
But some groups like the Coastal Conservation League have long been opposed to completing I-526 for several reasons including its expected environmental impact and the organization leaders question if the project is a good use of public funds.
“This is something that will impact numerous acres of wetlands around the Stono River,” said Jason Crowley, the director of communities and transportation for the organization. “From a fiscal perspective and a transportation perspective, a billion dollar eight-mile road that will only save people about 32 seconds going from Savannah Highway to Downtown Charleston is not a good use of taxpayer dollars.”
The State Infrastructure Bank, Charleston County and the South Carolina Department of Transportation have 45 days to negotiate a new agreement for the project.