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Speaker late to I-26 transit meeting, reportedly stuck in I-26 E - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

Speaker late to I-26 transit meeting, reportedly stuck in I-26 EB traffic jam

Photo Source: AP Photo Source: AP
CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The director of a project aimed at improving travel on I-26 was scheduled to speak at a public meeting in Charleston Tuesday morning. Those plans were thwarted by a major traffic jam...on I-26.

More than 100 Tri-County business leaders were in attendance at the North Charleston Coliseum for the I-26 alternative transportation meeting, which got underway at 8 a.m. The project, spearheaded by Berkeley Charleston Dorchester Council of Governments, aimed to find alternative transportation options for the interstate in the future.

The meeting began without the project's director because he was stuck in traffic on I-26. Eastbound lanes became a 10-mile-long parking lot following a two-vehicle wreck just before the interchange

Other leaders with BCDCOG (Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Councils of Government) led the meeting, presenting the options.

"This is an 18 month process, so we started in the fall," said planning director for BCDCOG Kathryn Basha. "We know that I-26 is pretty much maxed out in terms of the right of way that we have so we can't add any additional lanes and we need to look at some alternative transportation that we might be able to put on parallel corridors."

The options being explored include: commuter rail, light rail transit, bus rapid transit and refining the bus transportation in place.

This meeting was the last of the series of meetings called, "Transit Talks."

Basha said in the next few months they will narrow-down their options and figure out funding.

"The Federal Transit Administration usually will fund 50% to 60% of construction," said Basha. "But, the third piece of the whole process we're going through is to identify the local funding match would be for that, how we might fund that. Whether it be through bonds or tax increment financing districts, or sales tax."

BCDCOG will present their decision to the Federal Transit Administration in December.

You can join the discussion online by clicking here.

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