SCDOT: I-526 extension will not move forward without county

The South Carolina Department of Transportation says that they will not move forward with I-526 expansion plans without Charleston County's approval.

A spokesman for SCDOT said that the organization would also not move forward with construction on any alternative without the county having a complete funding package in place.

On Thursday night, the Charleston County Council voted not to support plans to extend the roadway from West Ashley through Johns Island and eventually into James Island. Hundreds of people showed up at Thursday's county council meeting opposing the Mark Clark expansion and they got their wish. But it could be at a cost.

Council member Elliott Summey said at the time that the "no build" vote may turn around and bite the committee because of a contract the county signed with the South Carolina Department of Transportation and the Infrastructure Bank in 2007.

The reimbursement issue is something that SCDOT did not touch upon, which is still on the minds of some council members.

"In our attorney's opinion that puts us in a bad legal position in which financially we may have to reimburse the state for all the money that's been spent," says Summey. "That's about $12 million."

But council member Dickie Schweers, who sided with the majority of the public, says he is willing to take the monetary risk.

"Yeah, we're at some financial risk however if we simply hand this over to the state we are at great risk a road will be built," Schweers said.

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