What's next for I-526?

By Stefanie

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) - The end of the Interstate 526 extension project is still no where in sight. On Tuesday night, Charleston County Council decided not to let residents vote on whether to extend the road on the upcoming November ballot.

That decision has many locals saying this debate, which has lasted over 30 years, needs to be put to rest.

"We're looking back some twenty years, how come nothings been done this direction?" said Johns Island resident Robert Legare Grimball.

"The sooner we build the roads, the sooner Johns Island will look like Mount Pleasant and Hilton Head," Johns Island resident Glenda Miller said.

The topic of Interstate 526 and whether it will be expanded to connect West Ashley, Johns and James Island or not, is a burning question. Charleston County Council Chairman Teddie E. Pryor Sr. says it's a question that he would like the answer to more than anyone.

"Look at the gray, when I came onto council 10 years ago all of this was black," Teddie Pryor said grabbing his beard. "This has been a thorn in everybody's side and I would just like to see both sides get into a room together come up with a compromise and work this thing out."

"I decided to vote against the referendum because it was non-bidding, and in my opinion the folks have already spoken in '72 and 2004 and it's time to move on," he said.

The next step for the project involves the South Carolina Department of Transportation making a final recommendation to the State Infrastructure Bank and Charleston County Council after collecting survey information from 5,000 residents.

South Carolina Department of Transportation official, Pete Poore, said there is no timeline yet on when that final report will be complete.

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