Since the early 1970’s, the original plan for the Mark Clark Expressway included a connection between West Ashley, Johns Island and James Island.
In November 2004, the voters of Charleston County approved a half-cent sales tax for transportation, public transportation and greenbelt projects in the county. To complete the plan for Mark Clark Expressway, Charleston County officials used these sales tax transportation projects as a local match to apply for funding from the South Carolina Transportation Infrastructure Bank (SIB) in 2006. Upon review of the application and the availability of matching funds, the SIB committed to fund the project.
Today, the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) will move this important project forward through the planning phase with a new Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), with the eventual goal of acquiring right-of-way and construction.
The proposed completion of I-526 will add approximately seven miles of new roadway between its current endpoint at US 17 (Savannah Highway) and the James Island Expressway Interchange at Folly Road. Charleston County proposes to construct a multi-lane, controlled-access roadway with a grade-separated interchange at Maybank Highway (SC 700) and two bridges over the Stono River.
In association with Federal Highways Administration (FHWA), Charleston County and the SIB, the SCDOT will develop the EIS, a process that will include looking at alternatives and comparing the impacts on both the natural and human environment. Efforts will be focused on public involvement and communication to ensure the successful development of the environmental process. Due to the major roles state and federal resource and regulatory agencies play, the project team will work closely with them in completing the environmental review process.
Mark Clark Expressway Timeline