I-526 from North Charleston to Mount Pleasant would be widened and replaced under some SCDOT plans | Credit: Flickr user donwest48

The stretch of Interstate 526 between North Charleston and Mount Pleasant could be in line for some major — and expensive — updates.

The 23-mile connection between West Ashley and Mount Pleasant, the Lowcountry Corridor (LCC), as identified by the S.C. Department of Transportation (SCDOT), is one of the state’s most congested interstate highways, and the department is holding two public information meetings this week to connect with local residents regarding potential changes to the corridor.

Potential changes could bring more lanes, new technological advancements or other strategies aimed at meeting the growing demand for more capacity on the interstate. The corridor has been broken down into two distinct projects, a West phase, which runs from Paul Cantrell Boulevard in West Ashley to Virginia Avenue in North Charleston, and an East phase, which runs from Virginia Avenue to U.S. Highway 17 in Mount Pleasant.

The total cost of the project? Up to $4 billion, according to The Post and Courier. That’s more than five times the cost of the proposed I-526 extension project estimated to total a paltry $729 million, according to five-year old projections.

The first meeting will be held from 5-7 p.m. Tuesday at the R. L. Jones Center in Mount Pleasant, and the second will be held from 5-7 p.m. Wednesday at the Felix C. Davis Community Center in North Charleston. The virtual meeting for the LLC EAST project is available now.

The LLC EAST project is in the final stages of its planning and environmental linkages (PEL) study

The proposed final community mitigation plan for LCC WEST is available for public view online.

The SCDOT is encouraging all residents and travelers of impacted areas to participate in the meetings to be a part of the concept development and screening process as well as to give input on reasonable alternatives to current strategies.

An environmental impact statement is being prepared for the LCC WEST project. LCC EAST is currently in the midst of a planning and environment linkages study. The public hearing regarding LCC WEST has closed, but materials can still be viewed online.

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