People to be moved out of homes for I-526 expansion, public input wanted

VIDEO: People to be moved out of homes for I-526 expansion, public input wanted

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Big changes are coming to I-526 and there are several ways for you to get involved in the process.

The South Carolina Department of Transportation is currently focusing on the stretch of I-526 from Virginia Avenue to Paul Cantrell Blvd, including the merge of I-26 and I-526. The goal of the work is to improve congestion on I-526.

Changes could include new entrance ramps from North Rhett Ave to I-526, widening the interstate and possibly building a new bridge for drivers on Paul Cantrell Boulevard to go over Magwood Drive.

However, re-designing the merge of I-26 and I-526 is SCDOT’s first priority. This could be done by replacing the current ramps or adding new ramps to connect Rivers Avenue directly to I-26 at the merge. Because redesigning the merge is such a major project, many people will likely be forced out of their homes in the area.

Program manager with SCDOT, Joy Riley, said the biggest impacts will be to people living in the Highland Terrace, Liberty Park, Russelldale and Ferndale communities.

“DOT is working really hard to figure out the best solution moving forward," Riley said. "This is a challenging real estate market to have this many impact zones, so DOT is investigating opportunities to build affordable housing that can be used for the families that are displaced to be moved into.”

There are still several options for the merge so it is unclear who exactly will be moved. Construction is expected to start in 2023 or 2024.

“The impacts in those communities are significant," Riley added. “There are apartments and homes that are really close to the existing bridge so any improvements through there are going to have substantial impacts.”

You can read more about the changes: here. There will also be six meetings this month where people can get more information and give their feedback. The first five meetings are specifically for those whose property could be impacted by the changes. The last meeting is for anyone to get more information and give their thoughts. There is also an office open at 5627 Rivers Avenue in North Charleston for one-on-one conversations. If you cannot attend a meeting, check out the virtual meeting: here. Those meetings will be held at the following locations:

Saturday

  • 2 – 5 PM
  • Biblical House of God
  • 2205 Van Buren Avenue | North Charleston

Nov. 13

  • 5 – 8 PM
  • Ferndale Community Center (Gym)
  • 1995 Bolton Street | North Charleston

Nov. 14

  • 5 – 8 PM
  • Life Changers Covenant Ministries
  • 2140 Eleanor Drive | North Charleston

Nov. 18

  • 5 – 8 PM
  • Danny Jones Community Center
  • 1455 Monitor St | North Charleston

Nov. 19

  • 5 – 8 PM
  • Citadel Mall (Between Belk and Loft)
  • 2070 Sam Rittenburg Blvd | West Ashley

Nov. 21

  • 11 AM – 7 PM (Drop-In)
  • Charleston Area Convention Center
  • 5000 Coliseum Dr, North Charleston

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