The year started on a high note for supporters of the controversial completion of Interstate 526 across Johns and James islands, after Charleston County Council narrowly approved building it after years of delays.

Supporters say the highway is needed; opponents say it will bring development and even more traffic.

Throughout the year, officials huddled to hash out a new contract, which would give more control of construction to the county, a role usually reserved for the state Department of Transportation.

The DOT approved its portion of the contract this month, which marked a leap forward. While the year ended on a high note for supporters, the project still faces hurdles, including a comprehensive environmental permit process.

And opponents continue to fight. Nearly 70 property owners who live near the highway's path have filed $8.5 million in compensation claims for the impact it would have on the value of their property. It remains unclear when construction would begin.

DIANE KNICH

Top headlines

SCDOT Commission approves revised I-526 contract

Pryor says DOT will be on the hook for $117 million if it backtracks on I-526

No payments for property owners who live within 1,000 feet of I-526

S.C. transportation commissioners worried about I-526 compensation and management

Residents in the path of I-526 beginning to file claims for expected drops in property values