Charleston Co. council may reverse decision on I-526 project

COLUMBIA, SC (WCSC) - There may be new life for completion of the Interstate 526 project. The Charleston County Council is expected to vote Tuesday night to consider reversing its decision to kill the completion of I-526, according to council vice chairman Elliot Summey.

The new vote comes after the State Infrastructure Bank told county leaders they had 60 days to pay back the almost $12 million already spent on the project. The bank said it would forgive repayment of the money if council voted to complete the I-526 project.

According to a poll, more than 75 percent of those participating say they want I-526 to be completed and another 7 percent favor the project if it would save the county money. Just 14 percent voted in opposition of the expansion.

Thursday afternoon the infrastructure bank shot down a plan by county officials to use the over $400 million proposed for I-526 on other projects. The bank board said if Charleston County officials submit a new list of other highway improvements, it would in effect be at the bottom of the barrel of state requests for money.

The chairman and vice chairman of Charleston County Council said Thursday night that if the county has to pay back the almost $12 million, it would devastate Charleston County. So, they will bring up the issue for a vote again Tuesday, hoping to get the necessary five votes on council to approve the I-526 project and reverse their earlier vote.

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