The I-526 Extension in Charleston County has been a boondoggle for some time now. But the recent move by the Charleston County Council to take over construction management from the S.C. Department of Transportation has taken this mess to new heights and is absurd at best, an outrage at worst.
The cost/benefit ratio of this road should be enough to scare every taxpayer. An eight-mile long parkway costing $650 million. For what? To complete an outdated beltway some suggest will create as much congestion as it resolves. For that money, there are more comprehensive solutions. And with all the back-and-forth between Charleston County, the SCDOT and the State Infrastructure Bank, clearly the project deserves further consideration.
I cannot think of a worse turn for this project to take. The SCDOT customarily manages road construction like this, as the most qualified construction agent. So why does the Charleston County Council want to take it over? One can’t help but question the intent. Locally, this pivotal project will permanently alter our community and our surroundings for relatively little benefit. Statewide this is outrageously expensive and will force more important projects into the back seat for years.
Don’t build that road.