I-526 Fiasco

I-526 Fiasco
August 09 06:32 2017 Print This Article

Lowcountry Source addressed the problems with getting I-526 completed on Mornings with Kelly Golden on 94.3 FM Wednesday in the #WhatsUpWednesday segment. Construction on the highway began in the late 70s but was terminated near the Citadel Mall in West Ashley. The South Carolina Transportation Infrastructure Bank (STIB) committed $420 Million to completing the project in 2007, but conflicts between the STIB and Charleston County Council have stalled the project to connect West Ashley with Johns Island and Johns Island with James Island.

The STIB voted in 2016 to terminate the contract to complete I-526 without getting Charleston County or the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT), the other parties involved in the contract, to agree. In January 2017, State Senator Sandy Senn and State Representatives Leon Stavrinakis and Linn Bennett asked Gov. Henry McMaster to remove Nikki Haley appointee Vince Graham as STIB Chairman. Graham was a vocal opponent of the I-526 completion project. McMaster complied and appointed Spartanburg lawyer John White as Chair.

Under the new leadership, the STIB met on July 20. The board gave Charleston County 30 days to identify specific funding sources to fund the project beyond the $420 Million already committed. Rather than comply with the request, Charleston County filed a lawsuit against the STIB and the SCDOT for breach of contract with the South Carolina Supreme Court. Charleston County Council never publicly voted to file the lawsuit.

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