Charleston County’s road-building program, known as RoadWise, has completed six large road projects and myriad smaller ones in the nine years since it was launched, county leaders said Tuesday.
Palmetto Commerce Parkway/Phase 1Improvements to the intersection of Maybank Highway and Folly RoadPalmetto Commerce Parkway/Phase 2Improvements to the intersection of Bee Street and Courtenay Drive Improvements to the intersection of the Glenn McConnell Parkway and Interstate 526Improvements to the area around U.S. Highway 17, S.C. Highway 61 and Wesley DriveSource: RoadWise
At a news conference, county leaders focused on how the money from the half-cent sales tax has been used on road projects since voters approved it in 2004.
Shawn Smetana, the county’s media relations coordinator, said so far the county has collected nearly $300 million from the tax. The program will run for 25 years or until it generates $1.3 billion. Of the money generated: 65 percent was for road projects, 18 percent for mass-transit projects and 17 percent for preserving green space.
The news conference focused on the road-projects money, the largest portion of the program.
Peter Valiquette, a preconstruction manager with RoadWise, said there are two groups of road projects.
The first group is for larger projects for which the county borrowed money by issuing bonds. Six of the 13 projects have been completed. A seventh, which included major improvements to Johnnie Dodds Boulevard in Mount Pleasant, will be complete in about a month.
The county also allocates $10.5 million each year for smaller projects, including resurfacing, paving, drainage, intersection improvements and bicycle and pedestrian facilities.
County Council Chairman Teddie Pryor said the county “is on track to do what we promised the voters we would do.”
The sluggish economy meant the program brought in less money than expected for a few years, Pryor said. But it has rebounded in recent quarters.
County leaders plan to hold a public update on the RoadWise program by the end of the year, he said, and to hold annual updates after that.
County Council already has a committee, chaired by Vice Chairman Elliott Summey, to explore asking voters to approve another sales-tax program for future road projects, Pryor said.