Transportation study committee unanimously passes resolution on I-526

Transportation study committee unanimously passes resolution on I-526

Members of the Charleston Area Transportation Study committee have voted unanimously on their support of the I-526 completion project and committed to allocating some funds to help pay for it.

Expected to cost a total of $750 million, the project would connect West Ashley to James and Johns islands. The state would pay $420 million.

The CHATS committee is made up of the Tri-County governments and business leaders.

The resolution was passed unanimously and committee members also agreed to commit funding to the project as well. They did not set a specific amount – they just set forth the amount of money that could be available, which is up to $200 million.

"The majority of citizens in the affected areas ... have expressed support for completing the expressway; and in recognition of the importance of completing the Mark Clark Expressway, to include a financial contribution thereto, the CHATS Policy Committee enacts this resolution," a copy of the resolution reads.

"The reality is – this is an integral part of a very long-term road structure plan, two-thirds to three-fourths of which has already been completed. In order to complete the entire process, in order to intersect and interweave the road plan, this is an absolute necessity," Charleston County Council Chairman Vic Rawl said.

There was one woman from the community who raised some concerns saying she believes there are other roads which should have more attention than 526. But officials say those are already being taken care of.

"Now that we've also passed the additional half-cent sales tax for roadway improvements in addition to transit and Green Way Expansion – I think we have adequate resources to move forward with a number of roadway improvements that she referred to," Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg said.

Charleston County will be discussing the additional funding for the project at their Council Meeting on Tuesday. At this point in time, the County has a meeting set with the State Infrastructure Bank for March 14 in which they'll discuss specifics on what funding they'll be providing as well.

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