City won’t get I-526, but county could build it

Charleston County Council isn’t going accept Charleston Mayor Joe Riley’s offer to take over and build the controversial completion of Interstate 526 across Johns and James Islands, says Council Chairman Teddie Pryor.

Council likely won’t even vote on the matter Thursday, because a majority of council members wouldn’t vote to do it, Pryor said.

Pryor said he’s not sure if council will vote on whether it will move forward with the project. But he hopes a member will make a motion to take a vote on whether the county should complete the project.

“I hope like hell they do,” said Pryor, a strong supporter of the project. “And I hope the vote goes my way.”

Councilwoman Colleen Condon, a project opponent, said, “I fear there’s a majority of council members that will vote for it.”

So far three council members have been strong supporters of the project, three have been opposed, and another three have said they are undecided.

If two or more of the council members who have said they hadn’t yet made up their minds vote in favor of the project, it would move forward. Those members are: Herb Sass, Henry Darby and Anna Johnson.

But even if County Council votes to build it, the project faces a lengthy approval process. And opponents’ challenges to required environmental permits likely would delay the project for years.

Project supporters on County Council are: Teddie Pryor, Elliott Summey and Vic Rawl. Opponents are: Colleen Condon, Dickie Schweers and Joe Qualey.

Thursday’s council meetings will be held at 5 p.m. on the second floor of the Lonnie Hamilton, III Public Services Building, 4045 Bridge View Drive, North Charleston. Committee meetings begin at 5 p.m. I-526 will be discussed at the Finance Committee meeting, which is the third committee to meet. Committee meetings will be followed by a public comment session and full council meeting.

Check for updates. Reach Diane Knich at 937-5491 or on Twitter @dianeknich.

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