CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A $22 million project in the City of Charleston is one step closer to reality.
City officials say they are seeking public comment on the Ashley River Crossing Project which includes a bicycle and pedestrian bridge that will connect West Ashley and downtown Charleston.
With nearly half of all city residents residing in West Ashley, proponents say a safe connection to the peninsula is needed for both bicyclists and pedestrians.
Supporters say it will also provide economic and environmental benefits.
“Right now, the options are not safe. You are on a very narrow [sidewalk] on the existing bridges and very close to speeding motorists,” Charleston Moves Executive Director Katie Zimmerman said. “Having this separate option will protect lives which is very important, but then also looking at the economics of this, you are opening access both to jobs in West Ashley and downtown.”
Officials say the Ashley River Crossing would be a separated bike path and stand-alone bridge that will originate at the end of the West Ashley Greenway and cross the Ashley River. They say the new bridge will provide a safe connection between the West Ashley Greenway, Brittlebank Park and the Ashley River Walk.
In addition to construction of the bridge, Charleston Parks and Capital Project Director Jason Kronsberg says this project includes not only West Ashley Greenway intersection improvements, but also updates to the Bee Street and Lockwood Drive intersection on the Peninsula.
Plans also state the project will make improvements to the West Ashley Greenway crosswalk at Wappoo Road.
In November of 2019, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced a BUILT Grant of $18 million for the project. The grant will be matched with $4.6 million locally.
As officials work through the pre-design phase, they say feedback from the online public comment period will help inform the project team of design elements to consider.