First phase of planned Folly Road transformation expected to start construction by end of year

Published: Aug. 25, 2022 at 3:24 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 25, 2022 at 6:37 PM EDT
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JAMES ISLAND, S.C. (WCSC) - Long-awaited changes could soon be coming to Folly Road on James Island, where funding is now in place for the first phase of a long-term transformation plan.

The Rethink Folly Road Plan was first approved in 2016 and looks to make biking and walking along the road safer and more connected, but it could be decades before that vision becomes a reality.

State Rep. Spencer Wetmore, D-Charleston, says the first of three phases of the project starts at Ellis Creek and runs past George Griffith Boulevard. That is by the Walmart on Folly Road.

She says the multimillion-dollar phase has been funded by state, local and federal partnerships.

Right now, crews are working on permitting and acquiring rights-of-way along the road.

Wetmore also says as part of a zoning overlay along Folly Road, when a property redevelops, the owner is required to put in a walkable path with a landscaped buffer in front.

Along with making the road more pedestrian-friendly, Wetmore says they will be repaving the road and upgrading utilities and infrastructure.

“We don’t want to create flooding issues,” Wetmore said. “You never want to do half of a project. You want to do it right. We do want to make sure that we’re going to improve stormwater, that we’re improving the utilities and the pedestrian facilities, as we go along, so it does take time, but like anything, you want it done right.”

Wetmore hopes to start construction on the first phase of the project by the end of this year.

In total, project leaders say this is a 40-to-50-year vision for the road.