Real news 2a

The Exit 197 interchange on Interstate 26 opens up traffic flow to and from the Nexton master planned community at Summerville. Berkeley County

The roadway system connecting an upscale Summerville master-planned community to adjacent highways and interstates will improve traffic flow at the village and surroundings, according to neighborhood supporters.

Last month, the exit 197 interchange off Interstate 26 opened to make travel easier for Nexton residents who commute and shop in the area. Exit 197 ties to five-mile Nexton Parkway, which leads to and from the large upscale village in western Berkeley County.

The road expansion also plays a role in Nexton's development as a community and job center, developers say, tying the village to central Summerville and to northern parts of Berkeley County by adding the interchange and linking I-26 to U.S. Highway 176.

Nexton developers bankrolled $38 million to construct the five miles of Nexton Parkway, two miles of Brighton Park Boulevard and trails and sidewalks that extend along both roads, the company says. From the exit 197 ramps, Nexton Parkway heads north to U.S. 176 and also ties into Brighton Park Boulevard leading to Main Street — U.S. Highway 17A — in Summerville.

"This project has been in the works since 2007, and it’s truly wonderful to see our vision of Nexton continue to take shape,” said Brent Gibadlo, vice president and general manager of Nexton.

He says that Nexton's cornerstones are "innovation, healthy living and thoughtful design." As a result, the company invested in "smart infrastructure" to promote forward-thinking growth in Summerville. "The new interchange and Nexton Parkway allows us to not only accommodate traffic due to the overall growth of Summerville, but paves the road of a centralized hub that houses a leading edge living and working environment," Gibadlo says.

Nexton residents in North Creek Village can enter the neighborhood from either end of Nexton Parkway at the exit 197 interchange or turning from U.S. 176 and Brighton Park Boulevard. Brighton Park Village sits closest to the interchange, followed by Del Webb at Nexton and Nexton Elementary School.

Nexton recently disclosed it will ramp up 10-gigabit commercial service, attracting new companies for Summerville headquarters. Also, the interchange and parkway will curtail traffic congestion and create a quicker commute for workers. Nexton houses three commercial districts with businesses, shops and restaurants. The upcoming Nexton Square also will be accessible to people for living, working or visiting Nexton.

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This new transportation network came from developer efforts to complete Nexton Parkway and local, county and state leaderships push to finish the interchange. The interchange project, totaling $88 million, includes construction of the overpass and exit ramps, widening lanes from four to six from mile marker 199 to mile marker 197 and finishing three frontage roads and the two mile entrance onto Nexton Parkway.

Funds came from Berkeley County, $55 million; town of Summerville, $4 million; South Carolina Transportation Infrastructure Bank, $22 million and S.C. State Ports Authority, $8 million.

Nexton describes itself as a 5,000-acre mixed-use community featuring the Brighton Park Village, North Creek Village and Del Webb at Nexton housing villages from the $200,000s to the $500,000s. When built out, Nexton will total 6,500 single-family homes and additional multifamily, according to the company.

The owner is a business entity of North America Sekisui House, LLC, also known as NASH, and developed by Newland Real Estate Group, LLC. Nexton is one of more than 30 properties the NASH-Newland partnership owns and manages together countywide.