I-526 saga continues: Charleston County can't figure out direction (Update: State takes over)

Image by Flickr user teddy-rised What is it and what should we do with it?

Update January 11: With a 7-2 endorsement of the idea, Charleston County Council has sent the project back to state control.

Whether the state intends to force the plan on the county once it has control of the project, or simply reallocate the half-billion in funding is not yet clear.

Update January 6: The State Infrastructure Bank has taken the responsibility of the I-526 project away from Charleston County and given it to the S.C. Department of Transportation.

The Post and Courier has a flushed out report on the facts of the move; read it over here.

What remains to be seen is how the move will affect the project and if the DOT will be able to more easily execute the half-billion dollar plan and sidestep much of the debate — and how willing Charleston County Council will be to let that happen.

Update December 8, 2011: The non-decision saga continues six months later on I-526, with Charleston County Council having just now directed staffers to once again look at the implications of finishing or not finishing the road.

Head over to Live 5 News or The Post and Courier for the latest installment of feet dragging.

First reporting June 5: You have to wonder: With all the energy that's been put into debating I-526 over the years, could that same time spent laying asphalt have already built the road?

Well, it doesn't matter, because there's still no consensus on how new roads should be built to best accommodate the booming populations on Johns and James islands. 

As evidence of that, I'll point you over to a report at The Post and Courier from a recent county council meeting where debate dragged on about how the body should even figure out what the public wants — yes, that's debate not about which option is best, but how to find out which options are really even options.

Read that report over here, and be sure to check out this graphic that shows the two leading ideas: build the full I-526 expansion or just half to connect Johns Island to West Ashley.

Oh, and some good news: The S.C. Transportation Infrastructure Bank Board has told Charleston County that thanks to the county council voting that it will continue to pursue the road, they are no longer in default for the $11.6 million that has been spent.

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