Charleston City Council votes to request take over of I-526 project

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Charleston City council voted 11-2 in favor of taking over the I-526 project from Charleston County. The only two votes against requesting the project from the county were council members Dudley Gregorie and Blake Hallman.

The decision came after a public hearing where more than 50 people made their voices heard about the completion of the project. Each person had roughly minute to voice their opinion on the future of the expressway project.

After listening to public comment, Mayor Joe Riley asked council to give him permission to ask the county to take over the project.

Riley said the completion of I-526 would relieve the pressure of the "traffic gridlock mess."

"The project is needed, the citizens want it overwhelmingly and the money is there," Riley said.

Hours before Riley took a vote from his council members Tuesday afternoon, protestors lined the front of city hall with signs saying they don't want the project finished. They say there are other ways to fix traffic problems in the city.

Rep. Leon Stavrinakis and others spoke out in favor of letting the city take over the project.

Riley will now have to get the support of the county to take over the project.

The next meeting of Charleston County Council is currently scheduled for Tuesday, November 20, 2012, beginning at 6:00 PM.

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