DOT shows progress with port access road project
As a constant flow of cars and trucks travel Interstate 26, construction cranes peek through the trees of the nearby landscape. They're part of a $220 million effort to redesign an important route.
"These are all the bottoms. They're spliced on the tops," a construction worker explained to Daniel Burton, resident engineer for the South Carolina Department of Transportation.
They're building the foundation for a new section of this important highway along North Meeting Street in North Charleston.
"You're starting to see the first steps in the process of reconstructing new Exit 217 ramps that will connect Meeting Street to the interstate," Burton said as he stood near work site, which is parallel to I-26.
"The new port access road will have full access in both directions to the interstate,” he explained. “There will be some additional improvements to the city streets as part of the port's work for their project."
Workers are crafting 3.3 miles of wider ramps, roads, and bridges to carry truck traffic to a new port terminal. It’s a State Ports Authority project managed by the South Carolina Department of Transportation.
"You're going to start to see activity really branching out across the whole neck area in the project corridor," Burton said.
He explained how the new roadway will accommodate more 18-wheelers hauling cargo to and from the new shipping terminal on the old Navy Base. But it'll also benefit people who live near its path, and drivers who use Interstate 26.
"It’s going to have an updated ease of access for local communities, the local business district. As well as the port," Burton said.
It’s the future of a regional transportation and economic force.
"We're going to get it done quickly, efficiently, and built soundly," Burton promised.
The port access road is expected to be finished by September 2019.