State bond review subcommittee to examine I-526 local funding

State bond review subcommittee to examine I-526 local funding
February 20 15:19 2019 Print This Article

South Carolina Joint Bond Review Committee (JBRC) Chairman Hugh Leatherman tasked a subcommittee to look into Charleston County’s financing for the I-526 completion project Wednesday. The JBRC consists of five Senators and five Representatives. It reviews all state bond initiatives.

The subcommittee consists of Rep. Leon Stavrinakis (D-Charleston), Rep. Gary Simrill (R-York), Sen. Thomas Alexander (R-Oconee) and Sen. Paul Campbell (R-Berkeley). The state Transportation Infrastructure Bank board entered into an amended contract with Charleston County and the SCDOT in January 2019. The infrastructure bank is obligated to pay $420 million for I-526 completion, which will connect West Ashley with Johns Island and James Island. The balance of the project, estimated at $720 million, will be paid for by Charleston County.

Among the funding sources available to Charleston County are the 1% transportation sales tax and bonding authority pledged by the Charleston Area Transportation Study (CHATS) Committee. I-526 originally received infrastructure bank funding in 2007, but internal disputes within Charleston County put the project on hold and nearly terminated it. Strong support from Governor Henry McMaster led to the contract amendment last month. No date has been announced for the subcommittee meeting.