CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) — A South Carolina lawmaker believes a toll road is the best option for paying for the completion of I-526, and he’s pitching the idea to the SCDOT.
In a letter sent today, State Rep. Chip Limehouse (R-Charleston) asks the SCDOT to “explore the possibility of constructing a toll road on a portion of the new project to defray” the more than $300 million Charleston County must pay to build the extension. Limehouse says the toll can be taken away once the project is paid in full.
Earlier this month, Charleston County Council members laid out several options for covering the county’s half of the $700 million dollar project that would extend I-526 past U.S. 17 onto Johns Island and over to James Island and Folly Rd. The South Carolina Transportation Infrastructure Bank extended a deadline past March 31st for the county to decide whether it would try to come up with the money.
Rep. Limehouse believes the toll road best addresses the financial shortfall by providing funding from those who would benefit from the project the most. He says the state would also benefit by increasing the Charleston’s infrastructure during emergencies and natural disasters.
Charleston County Chairman Elliott Summey tells News 2’s Brad Franko that it appears the toll road option may now have some traction in Columbia. Summey also says since this would be a state road and toll, Council would not have to approve it.