Public comments for Palmetto Commerce Interchange wrap at midnight

Diverging Diamond design (Source: Charleston County Govt)
Diverging Diamond design (Source: Charleston County Govt)
Urban Diamond design (Source: Charleston County Govt)
Urban Diamond design (Source: Charleston County Govt)

CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Public comments on a project to help ease traffic concerns in a busy Lowcountry corridor will close at midnight Thursday.

Charleston County residents have had the chance to weigh-in on design plans for the Palmetto Commerce Interchange.

The project will result in a new interchange on I-26 between US 78 (University Boulevard) and Ashley Phosphate Road, which will give way to a road connection to Palmetto Commerce Parkway, Weber Boulevard and Ingleside Boulevard.

As development continues in the area, Charleston County officials say the need for more routes has become necessary.

"I don't know if it's going to help as much, but you never know," said Hannah Snider, of North Charleston.

"We're at the whim of commercial businesses, developments and so forth that indigenous people end up selling their house to accommodate those people coming in," said Thomas Smalls, who has lived in his home for several years.

"Homeowners in phase three of Northwood Estates are concerned about how this project is going to impact them. Snider said she just moved into her house in a week ago.

"We picked this house because we liked all that space back there," she said. "We just got a puppy. So now if she were to get out she could get really hurt."

In the "Trumpet Design" Snider's home may have to be torn down because of how the interchange is constructed.

Not only would that design affect her neighborhood, but also another on the other side of the tree line, which would be greatly impacted in the "Diverging Diamond Design".

"I don't know what we can do about it," Smalls said. "It's going to happen, so where does that leave us?"

The "Urban Diamond Design" is a bit subtler and could keep some houses in place.

"It's not going to affect as much as the second or first option," Snider said.

"It's one of those things where it's hard to swallow," Smalls added. "I figured this was the last place I ever had to purchase."

Snider said having found out about the project Friday afternoon, she and her husband were going to share their input online.

Charleston County spokeswoman Kelsey Barlow-Roland said they've received roughly 70 comments from the public.

In the coming weeks the Transportation Development Project Team will meet with SCDOT to review all of the comments and work on the next steps for the project.

They'll come back to the public, likely in late 2018, with a final plan, Barlow-Roland said.

The plan is to break ground on the interchange in September 2020 and to be completed late 2022.

Copyright 2017 WCSC. All rights reserved.