The push in on to build the Sea Island Greenway, a possible toll road that would bisect Johns Island.

Charleston County Council Thursday approved a controversial plan to build I-526 across Johns and James islands.

Today, Ronald Mitchum, executive director of the regional planning group, the Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments, said his group in January will release a request for proposals for alternative ways to pay for a limited-access highway across Johns Island to the resort islands of Kiawah and Seabrook.

Members of the group’s transportation committee have said such proposals likely will include a toll road, because no money is available to pay for it.

That committee approved the plan to seek proposals in June, Mitchum said, but the council decided to wait until a decision had been made on I-526 before moving forward.

The Greenway is not ranked as priority among state road projects, and it falls 58th out of 71 projects on the Council of Governments’s regional priority list.

Bill Holtz, mayor of the Town of Seabrook Island, said the Greenway is an important road because it would alleviate traffic congestion and promote safety. “But with the approval of I-526, it’s urgent,” he said.

The interstate would pull traffic from U.S. Highway 17 and Main Road to River Road on Johns Island, he said. River Road won’t be able to handle all the traffic I-526 would bring, making the need for the Greenway even greater.

Read more in Saturday’s editions of The Post and Courier. Reach Diane Knich at 937-5491 or on Twitter @dianeknich.