CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A 1.5-mile stretch of land that last carried freight 10 years ago now belongs to the city of Charleston, which intends to pair with a Lowcountry group to build an innovative urban park.
The city will split the $4.6 million cost through a public-private partnership with "Friends of the Lowcountry Lowline" a non-profit which has been working to raise funds to buy the land previously owned by Norfolk-Southern.
The next steps, according to the Lowcountry Lowline website, include hiring a park designer and receiving approval from a number of government agencies. Construction would only start once the design is approved.
"We hope this park heals some of the divisions in Charleston created by the railroad and by the construction of I-26," Lowcountry Lowline Board President Winslow Hastie said. "We will not move forward with any design until we have brought the neighborhoods into the conversation."
The lowline would run parallel to and between Meeting and King Streets from Cortland Avenue south to Woolfe Street. The lowline group has also discussed extending the park all the way to Marion Square according to a release. Conceptual plans to extend the park north to Park Circle in North Charleston have also been discussed with city officials.
"When complete, the Lowline will be a great asset for our city, providing new opportunities for recreation and mobility, and new alternatives for drainage and flooding improvements along the spine of the peninsula," Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg said. "I'd like to thank Friends of the Lowcountry Lowline for their partnership in this important project."
A video which further explains the project can be seen below: