News | April 20, 2011

End of the line for I-526 project

In a historic move, Charleston County Council voted April 19 to reject extending a major interstate that would have cut almost eight miles through wetlands, marshes and rural communities, and increased sprawl development and air and water pollution in the Charleston region.

At a cost of almost $500 million, the rejected I-526 extension would have only shaved seconds off a typical commute and would have worsened traffic congestion at a number of intersections.

This is a major success for SELC and our partner, the Coastal Conservation League. Together, we have advocated strongly against the wasteful, unnecessary highway. Last year, we filed formal objections with the S.C. Department of Transportation which failed utterly to look at less expensive, less harmful ways of addressing traffic concerns Charleston.

The move to reject the extension of I-526 around Charleston signals a new direction for South Carolina communities in terms of rejecting cookie-cutter beltways and instead investing in transportation projects that improve mobility while protecting the environment, public health, economic well-being and overall quality of life in the Palmetto State.

 See our joint press statement with Coastal Conservation Leauge