Infrastructure bank board extends deadline for I-526 negotiations

Infrastructure bank board extends deadline for I-526 negotiations

CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - The State Infrastructure Bank Board voted Tuesday to extend the deadline for negotiations in the I-526 extension controversy.

In a specially called meeting held via telephone, the board voted for a deadline of September 13 to decide if the contract with Charleston County should be terminated.

Two months ago the board voted to kill the contract, claiming the county missed a deadline to come up with a way to fund a $300 shortfall for the project.

County officials claim they have abided by the contract that was signed in 2006.

During this morning's meeting, board member Chip Limehouse, who's also a state legislator asked fellow board members to give Charleston County a year long extension to come up with a funding plan for the I-526 extension.

"Based on the fact that I asked for a year, I wrote a letter, I think we're moving a little bit hastily here," Limehouse said.

The board shot down Limehouse's request, and instead agreed to the September 13 deadline.

LImehouse says the I-526 extension is a matter of life or death for people living on the islands.

"If we have a hurricane hit this island, we're going to have loss of life under the current transportation system."

Tuesday afternoon, Charleston County Council Chairman Elliott Summey said the ball is in the Infrastructure Bank Board's court and they must honor the contract.

Summey says when it comes to I-526, the bank board has strayed from its job of approving money for road projects and instead is deciding which ones should be built.

"I don't care if you agree or disagree with how the road should be completed. The way and manner which we have been treated, the political manner which this money has been used as a football, a political football is wrong," Summey said.

Charleston County Councilman Vic Rawl says if the I-526 contract is killed, the county stands to lose $420 already set aside for the project.

Rawl says under the contract, that money can only be used for I-526 and not for other road projects.

Summey says a meeting is set for August 3 among county, bank board and SCDOT officials.

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