As the state gets closer to turning a two-lane section of Henry Brown Boulevard in Goose Creek into a five-lane road, the Army Corps of Engineers is seeking public feedback on a plan to address wetlands that will be destroyed in the process.
The redesigned road, with a center turning lane and paved shoulders on both sides, would be an estimated 67 feet wide, curb-to-curb, with a 10-foot-wide paved multi-use path along the roadside.
The larger road is expected to carry more than 31,500 vehicles daily by 2035. The existing road saw average daily traffic of 12,600 in 2011, according to a state assessment of the project.
Construction activities and the large increase in the width of the paved area is expected to impact 3.4 acres of wetlands and 2,223 feet of tributaries that connect Sophia Swamp and Foster Creek, according to the public notice posted by the Corps on Friday.
The road-widening, and an extension of the road planned in a later phase of the project, has been a goal of Goose Creek for more than 20 years, City Administrator Dennis Harmon said in a March interview with The Gazette.
Glenn Jeffries, speaking for the Corps of Engineers Charleston office, said the wetlands mitigation plan proposed by the S.C. Department of Transportation has not yet been reviewed. A review will follow a 30-day public comment period that began Friday, she said.
When wetlands are impacted by construction and development, a plan to compensate for the loss is typically required and must be approved by the Corps.
In this case the DOT proposes making improvements to Cannon Creek in Berkeley County, to make up for the damage to wetlands and tributaries of Foster Creek.
A contract for the road work is not expected to be awarded until October 2015, DOT Program Manager Brent Rewis said.
"It is expected to take a year to get the (wetlands) permit," he said.
The road work is expected to cost $9 million, with $6.24 million of that amount coming from Berkeley County's one-percent sales tax fund.
The SCDOT believes the project will have no effect on any federally endangered or threatened species and will not result in the destruction of critical habitat.
For information about the wetlands mitigation plan visit sac.usace.army.mil or contact Christopher Mims at 843-329-8044, or toll-free at 866-329-8187.
Reach David Slade at 937-5552.