SCDOT unanimously votes not to sponsor I-526 project

By Lauren Ratcliffe
Published Sept. 26, 2012

In a unanimous decision, the state Department of Transportation voted not to take over sponsorship of the completion of Interstate 526.

Eddie Adams, chairman of the DOT commission, said the vote does not kill the road, but keeps the decision making over completion in the hands of Charleston County government. The DOT, he said, will fulfill its role as project manager if the decision to move forward is made.

“This is a time when Charleston County Council has to make a decision,” he said. “Under legislative order I sit as a member of the (State Transportation and Infrastructure Bank). I stand by my vote to support the additional money for Charleston County because it makes the project fully funded and it makes Charleston County make a decision.”

Many commissioners bashed Charleston County Council for not making a decision and some called the group’s indecision “cowardly.”

Prior to the vote, Charleston Mayor Joe Riley said that not completing the road would be like not finishing a coronary bypass procedure.

“The bypass is 526,” he said. “It started in the 1980s and there wasn’t enough money to finish it and therefore the arteries and veins that go off the uncompleted portions are overworked and will increasingly be so.”

After the vote, several members of the public thanked the commission for their time and praised them for not sponsoring the project.

Robin Welch, a leader in the Nix 526 movement, said the group was delighted by the decision.

“Charleston County has already voted against this twice,” she said. “We don’t see this as a setback for us.”

Riley, too, said the commission made a good decision and thanked them for not killing the project altogether.

“My hope is that today’s decision will move us closer to completing this project,” he said.

Previous coverage

USC survey shows support for extending Interstate 526
Infrastructure Bank approves $138 million to finish Mark Clark
SCDOT stalls again on I-526 decision
Charleston County Council gives I-526 project to state

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Added: 26 Sep 2012

Now that the decision has been kicked back to Charleston where it belong there's no doubt County Council will decide to defer a decision until never.


Added: 27 Sep 2012

Hopefully, Traffic Safety will be one of the main guiding forces in the final decision on moving forward with the road. Zoning should address the land development issues.

Bob Horner

Added: 6 Oct 2012

I live out on Bohicket near Kiawah. The other day alone as i drive to make it to an appointment, where i left my home 2 1/2 early because the traffic is insane, i watched a truck in front of me kill a deer as the deer decided to cross near Plow Ground. i would had stopped to make sure the animal was dead, because the truck didn't slow down a beat, but i couldn't because of the drivers behind me driving like crazy. And of course, you can't pull over on Plow Ground, unless you want to be road kill too. then i had a drunk in front of me as i turned on Plow Ground all over the road and who decided to just stop in the middle of the road for no reason. i also forgot to mention a huge Live Oak dropped its huge trunk on the road and many could had been killed. Now i don't like to see things being torn up, but there are just to many people and worked going in and out this way. Then be the time i was on James Island, police had to perform road side assistance on the bridge, then the draw bridge on James Island was open, so i had to turn right to go to highway 30 to go through downtown to get over to Mt Pleasant. This is ridiculous. I drove the speed limit and/or when needed stayed with the traffic flow. There has to be something done. Mayor Riley is right, its like no finishing a coronary bypass procedure. if there was a straight road to get places, there would not be so much carnage out here. To many people are in accidents i think simply because they are exhausted from just sitting and stressing out in their cars. unless there is major building out here on Johns Island, so we don't have to go downtown, or to W. Ashley or to Mt Pleasant, well then the only other option is to build that damn 526 and get it over with. There is no way out of here. Not unless y'all come up with a ferry boat to take our cars to downtown and Daniel Island and drop us off every few minutes.