South Carolina’s Department of Transportation wants to be prepared when regional growth stretches westward along Interstate 26 beyond the current Charleston suburbs.
DOT is hosting an informational meeting Tuesday about the I-26 Corridor Management Plan through Dorchester and Berkeley counties.
“We’re wanting to get everybody’s feedback on any ideas that they may have as well as what they’re experiencing on the I-26 corridor,” Director of Planning Brent Rewis said. “This is the beginning stages of developing a plan so that we can go implement projects later on. So we’re wanting to find out what they’re experiencing, any ideas they may have, any comments and concerns they may have from impacts.”
The area of interest is about 35 miles from the U.S. Highway 17 exit in Summerville to SC Highway 27 near Ridgeville. The agency has a master plan target date of 2045.
“We’re looking for strategies to help develop that plan to reduce congestion in the area,” Rewis said. “We’re looking for strategies to be able to implement smaller projects within the area to help reduce congestion while also identifying the long-range plan for that corridor.”
Berkeley is the 26th-fastest growing county in the country. County spokesperson Hannah Moldenhauer said more than $3 billion has been announced in economic development and more than 8,000 jobs have been announced in the county since 2015.
“The last thing we want to do is put something in place in the short term and then have to rip it back out later on in the future,” Rewis said. “So it’s really developing a master plan for that corridor and then chipping at it bit by bit.”
The Corridor Management Plan will develop improvement strategies for all corridors within the study area with four major categories of:
• Travel Demand Management – A series of strategies to reduce the overall travel demand, or shift demand out of the peak travel periods (i.e.: Rideshare, Telecommuting, compressed workweek)
• Modal Strategies – Define opportunities to shift single occupancy trips to transit or truck freight trips to other modes (i.e.: Transit Improvements, Freight Peak-Hour Incentives/Disincentives)
• Traffic Operational Improvements – Low-cost improvements to improve the utilization of the existing capacity of corridors and safety (i.e.: Localized Geometric improvements, Incident Management Improvements, Traffic Signal Upgrades)
• Capacity Improvements – Managed Lane (high-occupancy managed lanes (HOV) or high-occupancy toll managed lane (HOT)) construction projects developed to add to the capacity of the corridor.
The meeting is Tuesday, August 14 from 5-7 p.m. at the North Charleston Town Hall. Additional information concerning the project may be obtained by contacting Chowdhury Siddiqui, SCDOT Project Manager, at (803) 737-1262 in Columbia. Persons with disabilities who may require special accommodations should contact Ms. Betty Gray at (803) 737-1395.