On Thursday, the South Carolina Department of Transportation launched its public engagement activities for the I-526 Lowcountry Corridor (I-526 LCC) WEST public hearing, including online and in-person opportunities. The public hearing webpage, Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) and official comment period are available through January 15 and can be found by visiting 526lowcountrycorridor.com/
The purpose of the public hearing is to provide an update on the project, highlight the DEIS’ findings, and make the DRAFT Environmental Justice Community Mitigation Plan available in order to ask for meaningful input from the public and stakeholders. The public hearing webpage will also feature the recommended preferred alternative, the design proposed for the project. The webpage will walk users through the steps taken to arrive at the proposed improvements and provide information about the potential impacts and proposed mitigation measures.
The recommended preferred alternative includes the components that best meet the purpose and need of the project while minimizing environmental and community impacts. It combines Alternative 1 from Paul Cantrell Boulevard to International Boulevard, Alternative 2 from International Boulevard to Rivers Avenue, and Alternative 2A from Rivers Avenue to Virginia Avenue.
“This public hearing represents a major milestone for the I-526 Lowcountry Corridor WEST project,” said SCDOT Project Manager Joy Riley. “I hope the public will take advantage of the number of safe and convenient options we are providing both in-person and virtually. The feedback we receive on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement and DRAFT Environmental Justice Community Mitigation Plan as well as the recommended preferred alternative will shape this project’s future and our region for years to come.”
To view information and ask questions from the comfort and safety of your home, SCDOT has created the public hearing webpage that contains all the materials and comment opportunities you would see at an in-person meeting, organized into stations. Users can view a simulation of the recommended preferred alternative, identify potential right-of-way impacts, submit comments and participate in a one-on-one live chat during select times. Additionally, the public may call or text the project hotline at (843) 258-1135 to ask questions of the project team, leave a formal comment, or request a mailed packet.
SCDOT will also host an in-person, appointment-only public hearing at the Community Office (5627 Rivers Avenue – Gas Lite Square) for those unable or who do not wish to participate online beginning November 19. Appointments will be limited to 2 individuals per appointment and can be made on the public hearing webpage or by calling or texting the project hotline at (843) 258-1135. If anyone is unable to attend the in-person public hearing session but would like to meet in-person to review the materials, a one-on-one appointment can be made by calling or texting the project hotline.
The public can also comment by email, mail, phone, on the website and in a live, virtual comment session to be held on December 15. Registration is required to comment in the live, virtual comment session. More information on how to comment is available on the project website here.
Information presented in the public hearing is available in both English and Spanish. Additional information concerning the project may be found online at 526LowcountryCorridor.com or by emailing [email protected]
Information on the DRAFT Environmental Justice Community Mitigation Plan and resources for potentially impacted neighborhoods can be found on the project’s website on the Community Commitments webpage.
The I-526 LCC WEST project proposes improvements to the existing roadway along I-526 from Paul Cantrell Boulevard in West Ashley to Virginia Avenue in North Charleston.
The project aims to increase capacity at the I-26/I-526 interchange and along the I-526 mainline, thereby relieving traffic congestion and improving operations. The need for this project was identified in several regional and state-level planning efforts.
Comments must be postmarked or submitted electronically by January 15, 2021.