The Lowcountry Lowline project secured a $7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation. The project aims to convert an abandoned railroad track under Interstate 26 into a 1.7-mile park.

A press conference will be held tomorrow to discuss next steps for the Lowline project that launched back in 2017. Mayor John Tecklenburg and city council members will join members of Friends of the Lowcountry Lowline nonprofit at the gathering at 10:30 a.m. behind Union Station event center at 652 King Street.

“It’s been a long time in the making,” said Megan Mills, Friends of the Lowcountry Lowline project coordinator. “We’re really excited for this grant. It allows us to do the level of planning and community engagement and strategy that we’ve been wanting to do since we started this project.”

The Lowline will be a linear park planned to run 1.7 miles along a former rail line through downtown from Mount Pleasant Street to Marion Square and will include urban pathways between restaurants and hotels as well as open natural spaces for events and gatherings. 

“It’s a complex project,” Mills said. “It touches on mobility and stormwater management and also green space and activities. This [grant] will allow us to do that stormwater planning and the community engagement — making sure that we put in activities that the neighbors want to see.”

The $7 million will go toward completing processes that precede construction, such as design engineering, permitting, environmental remediation of contaminated soil, National Environmental Protection Act review, equity-focused community engagement and project management. 

The RAISE grant is part of the USDOT’s Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equality program.

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