CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC – Ever since Main Road flooded and was shut down due to the high tides a couple weeks ago, people have been wondering what Charleston County plans to do to remedy the problem for good.
Tonight, council decided to ax the Main Road and US-17 Superstreet project that has been in the works for years. They’ll now go back to the drawing board and come up with a new plan to alleviate congestion.
The intersection at Main Road and US-17 leading onto Johns Island may be getting an overpass across Savannah Highway.
But next, officials need to figure out what to do with the $1.5 million they already had set aside for the Superstreet.
Back in 2013, Charleston County and the SCDOT signed an agreement to secure funding for improvements to Main Road.
The $3.5 million dollar plan would have created the Superstreet.
Instead of the typical four way light, all turns would go right off Johns Island – that means if you are driving on Main Road and want to continue on Main Road through the intersection of US-17 – you would actually have to make a right, then a U-turn, and then a right again to get back onto Main Road.
It was a somewhat confusing idea.
As of Tuesday night, Charleston County Council has decided to do away with the Superstreet plan.
Council Chair, Elliott Summey says they’ll now need to go back to the dot and negotiate out of the Superstreet project. Summey told News 2, “We were kicking the can and we are not kicking the can anymore.”
Councilmembers say instead, the better option may be an interchange, with an overpass on Main Road which would take drivers over top of Highway 17
The SCDOT says it could cost $30 million dollars; funds some council members are worried the county simply doesn’t have.
Anna Johnson told council members, “I don’t know where the money is coming from for the flyover. I think if we can get money for the flyover, that’s great, but I need to see something that says we have the money.”
The new project would address several issues in the area. Councilman Victor Rawl suggested a motion to move the project forward. He wants to widen Main Rd. from Bees Ferry to River Rd. Additionally, he wants to raise Main Road or find a way to fix the drainage problem. And finally, he says council need to investigate the design of the new intersection and then find the funding.
Rawl told News 2, “Time and money is always an issue. Mr. Armstrong will probably be able to negotiate out of the superstreet fairy quickly.”
On Tuesday, a huge discussion and public comments were heard about large scale developments in East Edistow. Councilman Summey says another 10,000 to 12,000 housing units could be built out there, but there’s another 9,000 units already approved to be built on Johns Ssland. He says the traffic is here now and the Superstreet Band-Aid wouldn’t have solved the bigger issue.
Council members say they hope to get everything resolved with the SCDOT within the next 45 to 60 days.
After that, officials say they hope to begin designs of the new project and environmental impact studies going by January 1st of 2016.