CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The South Carolina Department of Transportation is looking at widening part of I-526 from four lanes to six lanes for the seven-mile stretch from Rivers Avenue to Paul Cantrell Boulevard.
Other major intersecting roadways that would also be affected include where I-526 meets I-26, Dorchester Road, and Leeds Avenue.
The department of transportation cites the existing and anticipated traffic demands in that corridor as to why it wants to widen the interstate. This project would also would aim at cutting down on congestion.
But North Charleston City Councilman Bob King said he is concerned widening the interstate could have negative impacts on houses bordering I-526.
“Noise factors could be a deal," King said. "In some places, they may have to take some land to widen. Not all places, but some places. And like I said, it cut to the heart of our city, you know? And mostly around Park Circle area it has a big impact.”
King said even though he has concerns about the project, he supports the effort to widen the road to reduce traffic--he just wants to make sure the community’s concerns are heard.
“As you know, the Charleston area has a transportation problem all over," King said. "So this is not the only place, but this is an effort to try to improve it through this particular area.”
This project is about more than widening, too. They’re looking at making interchange improvements for spots like where I-26 meets Remount Road and where Glenn McConnell Parkway meets Magwood Drive.
Before the project moves forward, the department is expected to get an environmental assessment. Then, there will be time for public comment which will help the department revise or rework some of its options.
A public meeting is being held on Monday from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Felix C. Davis Community Center in North Charleston. Residents will have a chance to hear from and ask questions of officials with the department of transportation and the city of North Charleston.