North Charleston resident Narkarsha Prioleau is worried about the noise and safety problems a proposed new airport connector road could bring to her Glyn Terrace neighborhood.
She was one of hundreds of area residents who packed the auditorium at W.B. Goodwin Elementary School Tuesday to hear a presentation on the project from Charleston County officials.
Glyn Terrace backs up to a huge chunk of land the state is leasing to Boeing for the aerospace company's future expansion. The new highway will slice through the Boeing land right behind the neighborhood.
A lot of children live in the neighborhood, Prioleau said, so safety is her biggest concern. But people in the neighborhood also are concerned about property values,
"We're the ones that have to deal with it, not the CEO of Boeing," she said. "We pay our taxes. We are deeply concerned. Deeply."
Richard Turner, project manager from Charleston County Transportation Development, said the meeting was an introductory meeting, and the first of three public meetings that will be held on the project. The goal was to explain "where we are today, how we got here, and where we are going in the next few months," he said.
The county didn't present alternative routes for the new road. It simply provided an overview of the need for the project, and had people on hand to answer residents' questions.
The proposed road likely will be a four-lane highway that runs along a powerline that runs behind Glyn Terrace. It is expected to eventually replace a critical section of International Boulevard, the highway that now carries air travelers to Charleston International Airport and workers to Boeing, and acts as a cut-through via Michaux Parkway for motorists between the Mark Clark Expressway and Dorchester Road.
While county officials didn't present any routes Tuesday, they presented a map of a rough idea of where the road might go several months ago to the Charleston County Aviation Authority Board.
Turner said the county now is gathering feedback from community residents, which it will use to officially design alternatives.
The county will hold another meeting in mid-May at which it will present several alternatives. Residents can comment on those alternatives at the meeting, on the county's website or by mail, he said.
The county's preferred alternative will be presented at a public hearing, likely in December, Turner said. Residents also will be able to comment on the preferred alternative.
North Charleston City Councilman Todd Olds, who represents much of the area where the proposed road will go, said he was disappointed by how little information was presented at the meeting. "I think the meeting was fruitless," he said. "What the community expected was not provided. We are leaving with no more information."
John Foust, who lives on Dorchester Road, said he plans to continue to monitor the project's progress. He's concerned about the amount of traffic the road will bring to his neighborhood, and whether it will make it harder to get to his job east of the Cooper River.
But he's also concerned about whether the road will be good for the area's economic development. If there's too much traffic, people simply will go elsewhere, he said.
Reach Diane Knich at 843-937-5491 or on Twitter at @dianeknich.