Interstate 26 Improvements
Proposed Widening of I-26 from Montague Avenue to Heriot Street
Recently, the SCDOT proposed a $483 million project to widen I-26 from Montague Avenue to Heriot Street in Charleston County. During the comment period prior to inclusion in the Statewide Transportation Improvement Plan, the Conservation submitted a letter to the SCDOT regarding better, more progressive alternative to widening the interstate. You can read our letter here.
i-26ALT – A Mass Transit Alternative to I-26
The Charleston Region has long been recognized as a popular visitor destination for its exceptional natural environment and historic charm. Success in attracting new business investment has also increased due to the tri-county region’s strong competitive assets including the South Carolina Ports Authority; academic, medical and research universities; military installations, and a technically-skilled workforce. The tri-county region is expected to reach 1 million residents by 2027.
Initiated by the Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments (BCDCOG), the I-26 Regional Fixed Guideway Transit Alternatives Analysis study is the next step in securing an I-26 Corridor transit solution for the Charleston region. The purpose of the I-26 Alternatives Analysis is to enhance regional mobility along the I-26 Corridor between Summerville and Charleston with transit strategies designed to: Manage transportation demand; Support our diverse regional economy; and Create livable communities.
“Fix 26” Campaign
Expanding on our efforts to defeat the extension to I-526, the Coastal Conservation League developed a multimedia public relations campaign with the goals of: (1) improving the I-26 corridor between Charleston and Columbia—the economic backbone of our state, and (2) promoting legislation that requires the South Carolina Transportation Infrastructure Bank (SCTIB) to follow the same prioritization requirements that the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) is required to follow under Act 114 of 2007 (See “Highway Funding Prioritization” project page for more information).
In a state struggling to find money to pay for road maintenance and repair, and for major upgrades to support new businesses and population growth, it is imperative that our elected officials stop wasting money on nonessential projects and reallocate funding to priorities such as I-26. It is also critical that all state transportation projects be funded according to their ranking on SCDOT’s prioritization list, and not at the request of a few powerful politicians seeking local favor or personal gain. The state’s resources are too limited to allow this pork-barrel approach to continue.
Since last summer, the Fix 26 campaign publicized our position through outdoor billboards on I-26; full-color print newspaper ads; dozens of radio spots; and targeted digital ads on Facebook and associated social media sites. All of these advertisements have been driving traffic to the Facebook page where visitors can learn more about the issues, sign up for updates, and send letters to their elected officials.