With the number of large infrastructure projects on the board in our region, it appears that we are at a crossroads. The largest proposed infrastructure project, the proposed expansion of I-526, is no exception. At a price tag of $500 million, the proposed expansion will provide residents of James Island approximately 30 seconds of commute time relief, per the S.C. Department of Transportation.
That equates to nearly $17 million per second of commute time relief in addition to a sprawling eight-lane intersection at Folly Road and the James Island Connector that will destroy the character of James Island and promote the types of land use patterns that we do not want to shape our future. Moreover, the City of Charleston is in support of the plan, when the proposed expansion is actually incongruent with the principles of their adopted Comprehensive Plan and award-winning Preservation Plan. Also, both the Town of James Island and City of Folly Beach, the two communities that will be most directly affected by the increased traffic on a system that is already overcapacity, have passed formal resolutions against the proposed expansion. We cannot afford another dumb growth infrastructure investment in our region, especially at a price tag of $500 million. We are at a point where we need to make smart growth infrastructure decisions and investments. I-526 does not pass this test.
Richard L. Beck, DMD
East Ashley Ave.