I-526 meeting expected to draw crowd
Charleston City Council will vote today on whether to ask the county to turn over the completion of Interstate 526 to the city.
If you go
What: Charleston City Council vote on resolution on Interstate 526
When: 5 p.m. today
Where: City Council chambers, City Hall, 80 Broad St.
And Mayor Joe Riley said he expects the group will vote overwhelmingly in favor of it.
The meeting is expected to draw large numbers of both supporters and opponents who want to weigh in on the controversial project to extend the Mark Clark Expressway across Johns and James islands.
County Council, the project’s current sponsor, previously voted against building the road, but reversed the vote when it learned it could be on the hook for $11.6 million already spent on the project. The county then asked the state Department of Transportation to take it on, but that group’s commission earlier this year also voted against taking over.
Bev Jenkins, spokesman for Charlestonians for I-526, said his group supports the city taking over the project, and he thinks many of its members will show up today to comment.
“We’re rallying our troops,” he said.
The group, which has more than 1,000 members on Facebook, would prefer the road be completed as an interstate, instead of the currently proposed parkway design, Jenkins said. But members would prefer the parkway rather than no road.
Riley has said the design can’t be significantly modified without again going through a lengthy approval process.
Robin Welch, spokeswoman for the opposition group Nix 526, which has more than 4,000 members on Facebook, said representatives from her group also will attend.
“We’re going to show up Tuesday and fight like hell,” she said. “Then we’re going to keep on fighting.”