Federal stimulus dollars to fund Berlin G. Myers Parkway extension

By Molly Parker
mparker@scbiznews.com
Published March 31, 2009

A $14.6 million federal stimulus windfall into Dorchester County will allow for the early completion of the Berlin G. Myers Parkway extension project.

“This is just a real big shot in the arm to complete the road sooner,” said Dorchester County Councilman Larry Hargett.

Hargett is chairman of the Charleston Area Transportation Study Policy Committee, which voted Monday to accept the funds. That arm of the Berkley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments was the last group that needed to sign off on the project. Hargett said he expects construction work to start within 90 days.

See a map of the project area.

He did not know how many people the project would put to work. “But it will be a real stimulus to the work force here,” Hargett said. “There will be a lot of people involved in building this road.”

Hargett said the project was selected because it meets the federal government’s definition of “shovel-ready.” Right of way issues have been resolved and the engineering design work is in progress. The Army Corps of Engineers still has to sign off on a wetlands permit, but Hargett said he doesn’t expect much trouble in securing it.

The money will be used to extend the parkway an additional 2.5 miles from where it currently ends, near Bacons Bridge Road. The new, four-lane highway will travel along Sawmill Branch and hook back up with U.S. Highway 17A southwest of Orangeburg Road.

This project will complete the construction of the parkway, which has been in progress since 2001, Hargett said. The price tag for the final phase of the extension is about $52 million. The rest of the funds are coming from the one-cent sales tax that Dorchester County voters approved to raise money for road projects in a 2004 referendum, Hargett said.

Reach Molly Parker at 843-849-3144.

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