N. Charleston residents could be forced to move to make room for SCDOT projects

NORTH CHARLESTON (WCSC) - Several North Charleston communities learned Tuesday night they could be in jeopardy of losing their home.

The removal process would be to make room for road improvements along the I-526 corridor.

There are 29 different neighborhoods all around the 526 and I-26 interchange that could be impacted.

SCDOT presented an initial community impact analysis that highlighted the Highland Terrace, Centre Pointe, Russeldale, Ferndale, Cameron Terrace

West, Oak Terrace Preserve, Charleston Farms, Liberty Park, and Singing Pines communities in North Charleston.

"We don't have any plans," said Joy Riley with SCDOT. "All we're doing right now is laying out potential plans but it takes a lot of work for an engineer standpoint to really figure out where those lines fall."

Riley said there is definitely a traffic need for expansion at the 526 and I-26 interchange, but not sure yet what that will look like.

"The goal of this project is to reduce that congestion and in turn improve safety, enhance mobility and improve the operations," he said.

When it comes to improving and widening the roadways, Riley said it's hard to not have an impact on the surrounding areas.

"Unfortunately, it's almost impossible to do a big project like this without having any impact," Riley said.

Pearle Allen and Loretta Brown live in the Highland Terrace community that could see an impact.

"To me it's nightmare it's devastating not knowing when they're going to come in or make a decision if they can come in and take it like they want to," Allen said.

Allen has lived there for over twenty years and Brown lives in the same house her dad built for her as a wedding present in 1950.

"I really don't want to but like they said you can't stop progress," Brown said.

If people are forced to move SCDOT will compensate the people who live there, including renters as part of the SCDOT Right of Way program.

The program is part of the Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970. SCDOT will tell you the value of your home, extend an offer, and provide expenses to relocate.

Officials with SCDOT said next summer they will provide alternatives to the project and nothing is set in stone. They also said that, according to schedule, no one would have to leave their home before 2020.

"2022 is when according to the schedule we would need to start right of away," said Riley.

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