Sunday letters: I-526 extension unnecessary

October 13, 2013 

One argument that’s been made in favor of extending I-526 is that the government has an obligation to build this road to ensure an adequate transportation infrastructure for Charleston County 25 years hence.

In fact, building the I-526 extension will guarantee the exact opposite.

Every traffic study that’s been done shows that congestion on existing roads will, at best, be improved only marginally improved proposed extension. Traffic on many roads actually would be worsened.

The I-526 extension is far down on the state Department of Transportation list of priorities. Yet if it were built, it would exhaust the Transportation Infrastructure Bank’s bonding capacity for any new projects in the entire state through 2020. Its cost per mile would be among the highest for road projects nationwide.

Simply put, building the I-526 extension will do nearly nothing to alleviate traffic problems, but if it is built, there won’t be any money left for projects that would help. Just looking at the cost-benefit analysis, you could hardly find a worse way to spend half a billion dollars.

I fervently hope that the department does not approve construction of this project. It is unwanted, unneeded, and will worsen traffic while irreparably harming the environment.

John Kozma

Charleston

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