Gullah-Geechee panel opposes I-526 completion

Charleston, SC (AP) - The commission working to protect the culture of slave descendants on South Carolina's sea islands opposes finishing Interstate 526 in suburban Charleston.

The federal Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission released a letter Monday it sent last month to Charleston County Council. In the letter, commission chairman Emory Campbell said completing the interstate through Charleston's western suburbs would devastate an already threatened Gullah-Geechee culture.

It's still unclear whether the $489 million highway, also known as the Mark Clark Expressway, will be completed. The state Transportation Department has proposed a low-speed parkway to finish the highway, but that idea was rejected by county council.

When the state Infrastructure Bank then asked the county to return the $11 million already spent on the road, council reversed its decision not to build it.

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