BERKELEY COUNTY, SC (WCSC) -
If everything goes according to schedule, commuters can look forward to a new exit on Interstate 26, as early as December 2017.
The Sheep Island Interchange, which offers a new exit at mile marker 197, rests between Summerville and Jedburg. The project costs $67.5 million dollars, and is covered by county taxes, impact fees, and the state infrastructure bank.
"If they build it, we sure hope that industry and growth will come with it," said Berkeley County spokesman Michael Mule'.
In their last meeting, county council passed a $3 million dollar design plan, and will now move forward with land acquisition and permits.
County officials are also looking to the new interchange to ignite economic growth in the area.
"If you look at other growth that's going on in the lowcountry, we're almost playing catch up," he said.
"This time we're getting ahead of the game."
Mule' pointed to Summerville's Nexton development as an example, a growing residential area, which has already drawn major restaurant chain, The Carolina Ale House, along with The Courtyard Marriott hotel.
He says land near mile marker 197 offers enough space to welcome major industries, and is convenient to Interstates 26 and 95.
"I think where we really have an opportunity, is that we have a lot of businesses coming from the port."
"What this development says from the Berkeley County Council, from the Berkeley County administration and county government, is that berkeley county is open for business and that we mean business."