Carta to move forward with $14.5M intermodal center

Staff Report
Published March 20, 2014

The Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority board plans to move forward with its long-planned North Charleston Intermodal Transportation Facility.

Carta plans to develop and construct the new $14.5 million regional intermodal transportation center at a new site near the current Amtrak Station in North Charleston.

For nearly two decades, North Charleston leaders have been working to create a facility that would link Carta buses, Greyhound buses, Amtrak passenger trains, taxis and shuttles used by the Charleston International Airport.

Carta bought the 36-acre site at West Montague Avenue and Dorchester Road, and work began to build an intermodal facility. Leaders hoped to build a more attractive transportation center than the area surrounding the Amtrak station. But lack of funding and concerns that Amtrak trains would block CSX trains nearby stalled project completion.

Under a new agreement with the Federal Transit Administration, Carta must reappraise and sell the original site. Carta will use $4.7 million of the sale proceeds for the new facility and transfer $433,000 in federal interests for previously completed engineering and design work to the new project.

Through other FTA grants and a local match, the project is fully funded.

“By allowing the proceeds from the sale of the West Montague site to be invested in the new intermodal center, the FTA will continue its support for a project that will strengthen the transportation network of the Charleston area by providing intermodal connectivity,” FTA Deputy Administrator Therese McMillan said in a statement.

The project must be completed in 30 months. Carta Executive Director Christine Wilkinson said completion is likely “in the very short term.”

Carta will eventually repay the FTA the remaining $3.7 million in federal transit funding that was invested in the West Montague site.

“We are so appreciative of the FTA’s efforts in assisting us in finding a solution to move forward with a much-needed regional intermodal facility,” Wilkinson said in a statement. “This project is a giant step forward for transportation in the Lowcountry.”

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