MONCKS CORNER, SC – The groundbreaking ceremony for the Sheep Island Interchange took place just after 11:00am Monday morning.
Berkeley Supervisor Bill Peagler addressed the crowd gathered. “This first step began two weeks after we took office. That is when we decided we were going to build Sheep Island Interchange.”
State Senator Larry Grooms, the Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee said this interchange will serve multiple functions. “”There is going to be some extra lane capacity to I-26. It’ll take cars off of some interchanges and other areas and it’ll have some traffic relief in addition to economic benefit, so it’s a great win for the Lowcountry.”
Summerville Mayor Wiley Johnson said this was a long time coming. “This is something that Summerville has been looking forward to and planning since at least the 70s.”
The road will eventually connect with the Cane Bay community on the Berkeley County side and it will connect with highway 78 on the Summerville side. 8 miles of new road construction is part of the project.
The new exit will be exit 197.
News 2’s Raymond Owens attended the Groundbreaking in Berkeley County. Follow him on twitter for the latest and refresh this article for any updates.
Crews have cleared the trees and construction has already started. I-26 is a state road, but Berkeley County tax dollars will pay for the majority of the $80 million project. Berkeley County supervisor Bill Peagler explains.
“We have a need to take care of our tax payers and give them safe roads,” he said. “If we didn’t have the wherewithall to make these roads, to do the things necessary…Volvo might not happen and businesses might not be willing to locate here so our standard in Berkeley County could be impeded. The citizens of Berkeley County have voted to be accountable to have good roads in Berkeley County.”
The county approved a penny sales tax to pay pay for projects like this one. Current elected officials are proud to announce the Nexton Interchange is on it’s way after years of debate over who would pay for it.
“After nearly a decade of waiting on this project, we are happy to announce that the ground breaking ceremony for the new interchange will be held next week,” said Peagler. “The project will improve the quality of life for Berkeley County residents, and the start of construction highlights the county’s strong commitment to improving infrastructure for residents and businesses alike.”
The project is expected to be completed by the summer of 2018.