I-526 expansion project put on hold

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC)- The Charleston County Council has put the brakes on the I-526 plan until the Department of Transportation considers some changes.

In a unanimous decision Thursday, the Charleston County Council requested the Department of Transportation revamp its current plan to expand I-526.

Based on input from five public hearings, council members asked the DOT when revising the plan  to consider improving existing roads and to scrap a leg of the project extending to James Island.

Secretary of Transportation Buck Limehouse said it appears if these changes are made Charleston County would have to reapply for funding from the state.

Vice Chairman of the Charleston Council Elliott Summey said the proposed changes fall within the parameters of the project agreed to when the funding was allocated and the changes will not squelch the expansion project.

"Even though we're taking a step back in the process, we're taking a step forward," said Summey." We're making progress to say, 'Hey guys, we need to have this thing come in under budget. We need to do what the people want, and ultimately this process is designed for the public to get what they want and what they need.'"

According to DOT it could take between 12 and 18 months to take the suggestions into consideration and devise a new expansion proposal for I-526.

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