SC

Interstate 526 Boondoggle Rolls On

This website has consistently opposed the totally unnecessary, obscenely expensive Interstate 526 project in Charleston County, S.C. This eight-mile, $558 million project – which has negligible public benefit and dubious local support – is a poster project for everything that’s wrong with highway funding in the Palmetto State. Seriously … state lawmakers bitch…

This website has consistently opposed the totally unnecessary, obscenely expensive Interstate 526 project in Charleston County, S.C. This eight-mile, $558 million project – which has negligible public benefit and dubious local support – is a poster project for everything that’s wrong with highway funding in the Palmetto State.

Seriously … state lawmakers bitch and moan about not having enough money to care for our roads and bridges (and borrow tens of millions of dollars to care for them) yet somehow always find the cash for boondoggles like this one. Oh … and contracts for powerful elected officials.

Last fall the S.C. Department of Transportation (SCDOT) correctly voted against this project – although given the influence aligned in support of 526 we noted that the battle was far from over.

“There are some incredibly powerful politicians still pushing this boondoggle, including S.C. House Speaker Bobby Harrell and City of Charleston, S.C. Mayor Joe Riley. And trust us, they’re not just going to let this thing die,” we wrote at the time. “Also, one rejection doesn’t mean that our state has fixed its root problem – which is the fact that political pressure, not the merit of a particular project, is what drives highway dollars in South Carolina.  Until that issue is addressed, we will continue to see money wasted as needs go unmet.”

Well guess what … political pressure has won out.

This week, the SCDOT was prepared to take another vote blocking the project, but a so-called “fiscal conservative” – S.C. Sen. Larry Grooms (R-Berkeley) – had the item removed from the board’s agenda.

“I called a few folks and the agenda was changed,” Grooms admitted to reporter Diane Knick of The (Charleston, S.C.) Post and Courier.

What?

Not only did he prevent the SCDOT from blocking the project, Grooms added “I hope it doesn’t come up again.”

Again … what?

We called Grooms out on this act of treachery and received a laundry list of excuses.

LARRY GROOMS
LARRY GROOMS

“I believe that there are higher priority projects in Charleston County than the extension of I-526 and that Sate Infrastructure Bank (SIB) projects should also be subject the prioritization ranking of Act 114,” Grooms told us. “Under Act 114, the 526 extension would fall behind other projects. I regret that I was unable to convince my colleagues to extend prioritization criteria to SIB projects and I will continue to push for common sense reforms of the SIB.”

Okay … but why wave the white flag?

“The reality of today is that the 526 extension is a SIB project and that Charleston County, SIB and SCDOT have contractually agreed to build the project,” Grooms continued. “Only Charleston County and the SIB can delay or kill the project.”

Grooms added that he was eager to avoid a “default by the SCDOT regarding their obligations (that) would have long term negative implications in moving forward with any large transportation projects involving multiple parties.”

“It would also have set the dangerous precedent of one DOT Commission voiding the obligations created by a previous a previous DOT Commission,” Grooms said. “Actions of the DOT must be consistent and legislation extending prioritization to all highway projects (including SIB projects) should be passed by the General Assembly.”

No offense to Grooms but we call bullsh*t.

Several years ago, Grooms and his fellow lawmakers told us they had “reformed” the SCDOT so that transportation projects in the Palmetto State would be chosen on their merits – not at the whim of powerful lawmakers like Harrell.

They lied.

If SCDOT was truly “reformed,” then why are taxpayers being hit with new fees and fines to subsidize essential repairs while hundreds of millions of dollars go to projects like this one? Also why is South Carolina – the nation’s fortieth-largest state in terms of geography – still subsidizing the fourth-largest network of state-maintained roads in the nation?

We fully expect fiscally liberal Democrats in the S.C. General Assembly like Vincent Sheheen, Nikki Setzler, Todd Rutherford and Harry Ott to support transportation boondoggles like this. We also fully expect fiscally liberal Republicans like Harrell, Nikki Haley, Hugh Leatherman, Chip Limehouse and others to do the same.

But we don’t expect so-called “taxpayer heroes” like Grooms to accommodate them … and make excuses for them.

Grooms sold us out on this one … and as a result we will think long and hard before we ever endorse him for higher office again.

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42 comments

Philip Branton October 18, 2013 at 9:55 am

Dear SPAWAR Atlantic and Military Personnel,

This article is a clear and present example of how the voting public and taxpayer trust is being “manipulated”. Here we are trying to win the hearts and minds in the areas that we have conflicts but yet our own citizens do not get all the facts.

Is there any mention of the value of the EASEMENTS above this roadway to benefit taxpayers.

Why the heck have taxpayers funded the development of SKYTRAN.

http://www.skytran.net/videos.html

Too boot ……..why has LARRY (Big OIL) GROOMS not called out Nancy Mace or Lindsey Graham or Tim Scott or Jim Clyburn or Joe Wilson for not informing the voters their courting about the taxpayer benefits.

Fellow workers…..THIS …IS…DISGUSTING and….Un-American.

TALK about jobs creation…..talk about expanding the tax base…….talk about actually be CONSTRUCTIVE instead of destructive.

Are we going to just RAPE every other country instead of helping them…..while at the same time not taking advantage of our own resources due to big oil bribing.

Fellow workers, just look at how Wil Folks is in lock step with every other media outlet in our state. Heck, the least Wil could do would be to ask Larry Grooms if he would support a South Carolina team of investors to get these transportation systems up in African countries that we send AID support too every year. At least our pension dollars can be invested in a service that we all know AFRICAN oil workers would use every day.

So much for a battle plan……may be OBAMA is right……maybe we should not listen to Wil Folks at all or any other ….”blogger”…!!

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CNSYD October 18, 2013 at 10:34 am

Since the highway has an “I” designation, what is the fund split between federal and state? Is the $558B all state funds?

IRT to “local support”. I presume by local you mean Johns, Seabrook, Kiawah and James Islands. The “old time” Johns Island residents want Johns Island to stay just like it was 50 years ago. That horse left the barn long ago. Seabrook and Kiawah residents are like SOB residents. They want to be isolated from the ordinary citizenry.

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Halfvast Conspirator October 18, 2013 at 10:47 am

All “state” money that will come from bonds that the (broke) infrastructure bank sells and will have to pay back from various taxes and fees, which are insufficient to cover existing obligations. Charleston County taxpayers will have to eat anything over the $558million, if indeed the bank approves the $138M excess over the allocated $420million, in 6 or 7 years. And it is now being called the “Mark Clark Extension” so as to remove the “I” aspect.

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Lee Grayson October 18, 2013 at 1:38 pm

I always thought the difference between saying “526 completion” and “extension” was just a political one. You’re saying it technically is an extension. Interesting.

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John Cecil October 21, 2013 at 10:07 am

The supporters were screaming “It’s a completion, not extension” which was political, however, the original contract between the County, SID and DOT called it the “Mark Clark Expressway Extension Project,” then said it the contact would refer to it as “The Extension Project” for the rest of the contact, which called it that dozens of times. The traffic assessment also excluded the Connector in the documents submitting with the application. So while the name is arbitrary, I like “Mark Clark Industrial Parkway” selecting the study area, and refined study area, can manipulate and inflate or deflate the desired statistics to support a road project. The County removed the original application from their website or I would post the link, like I used to, to help people make a more informed decision.

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CNSYD October 18, 2013 at 4:00 pm

If having an “I” designation could garner federal funds, why would you not want to do that?

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Dana Beach October 18, 2013 at 10:45 am

Well said. This comes down to two very simple principles – honesty and courage. Most of the decision makers are, like Grooms, at least honest enough to admit, privately or publicly, that this project is not a priority for anyone but Kiawah developers, and that it is a boondoggle. They will also often acknowledge that the consequences for SC are a degraded road system and higher taxes.

It’s in the courage part where things fall apart and where we begin to hear the flimsy, evasive and misleading justifications about contract breaches and consistency. Bottom line, this project has tied up more money than the Legislature scraped together last session for maintenance and repair for the entire state. Unless our leaders muster the courage to stop the bleeding now, we will leave a generation of South Carolinians with a transportation and fiscal mess that will take decades to fix.

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CNSYD October 18, 2013 at 3:58 pm

Simple question. Has development of Kiawah Island increased or decreased the tax base of Charleston County?

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silly October 19, 2013 at 10:18 am

Anybody that tells you 526 isn’t necessary doesn’t drive West Ashley around 5pm every day. He/she is probably deciding whether to stay in his/her downtown house or his/her house on Wadmalaw. I didn’t realize how lucrative conservation was. Not a bad business model.
I guess us poor white trash aren’t entitled to a little relief.

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Dingus October 19, 2013 at 12:16 pm

DOT’s year 2035 traffic model shows this project provides a 2 to 5% improvement for savannah hwy inside 526, compared to no build. Seems like we could do better than 5% for $600 mil.

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Matt October 23, 2013 at 11:27 am

5% improvement on thousands of cars 365 days a year works out to millions of dollars in savings over a short time. Just because it’s a small percentage doesn’t mean a small return, it depends on how big the total is Dingus.

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Dingus October 24, 2013 at 10:32 am

Or we could spend several million on an intelligent traffic system, a few mil more consolidating some of the several hundred commercial driveways, maybe improve several intersections and obvious bottlenecks with widening, turn lanes and queue jumper lanes for buses, spend several mil more on a park and ride in the empty Kmart lot, and maybe get a 10% improvement for less than $100 million.

But yeah, building a 1960’s-style loop highway for $560+ million works too. Then we can tear it down in 20 years just like Seattle is doing now, and Portland, Boston, San Fran, Seoul, Chattanooga and a host of other cities have done in the last 30 years (google “case studies in urban freeway removal”). That’s some good ole South Carolina planning. At least HDR, Thomas & Hutton and the rest will get some juicy contracts out of designing and building it… good for them.

Blueberry Bill October 18, 2013 at 10:52 am

Senator Grooms arguments simply dont hold water. It is a constitutional certainty that current commissions, councils and general assemblies cannot irrevocably bind future commissions, councils, and assemblies. It is in fact the foundational concept of democracy that if the decisions and policies of one body are not in the best interst of the public, a future body will change them to reflect the public’s interest and will. Larry affitms this every time he votes to amend an existing law. Under his logic, we should not ease regulation or close tax loopholes that dont make sense because people are relying on them since they have already passed.
Not to mention preventing a vote of duly appointe commission is nothing short of autocratic intimidation. I guess this was too much constitutional detail to print on the back of his “don’t tread on me” and “Liberty” flags. Hey Larry: quit treading on democracy with your heavy handed, back room, corrupt favor trading and let the system work. That road funding you and the sc chamber and others were bragging about was much less than the cost of this project. So you are wasting more than you saved. Fiscal conservatism for the future, right?

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Halfvast Conspirator October 18, 2013 at 10:56 am

Who got to Larry?

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MashPotato October 18, 2013 at 1:01 pm

I thought FITS was done endorsing candidates completely?

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Lee Grayson October 18, 2013 at 1:29 pm

The fact that Grooms had to strong-arm the vote off the agenda shows how loathed the 526 project really is. If it was a good project, why didn’t he let the commissioners vote their conscience? Only a handful of Good Old Boys are keeping 526 alive at this point, because 526 is a glistening giant hog with a wad of dollar bills stuck in its mouth. I can’t wait until this project moves into the courts. Larry Grooms can’t just make a few calls then, and the judges will undoubtedly take note of all the corruption that surrounds this project.

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? October 18, 2013 at 1:58 pm

Every sociopath, which happens to be most in office, likes to point down to people when they are speaking.

“I am in control.”

“You will listen.”

Etc. et al….Grooms, Haley, Graham…the list of pointers goes on and on.

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Leon Stavrinakis October 18, 2013 at 9:53 pm

Contrary to the propaganda pushed by an organized, passionate minority along with special interest groups, this project is badly needed and very much in demand by the overwhelming majority of the people it will serve. The completion of 526 has been on the books for years, endorsed by an overwhelming bi-partisan alliance of elected officials and is the center piece of a nearly 1 billion dollar infrastructure investment approved by Charleston County Taxpayers. The constant suggestions by the minority opposed of a lack of merit or a lack of support are pure fantasy. My voters, none of whom live on Kiawah, don’t just want this highway completed as planned, they need it, demand it, vote for it and paid for it. End of story.

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John Cecil October 18, 2013 at 11:09 pm

“vote and paid for it”

When did Charleston County residents vote for 526? Are you thinking of 2004 half cent sales tax, when you were Chairman of County Council?

If so, why didn’t you mention 526 at the Leage of Women Voters prior to the 2004 vote? The local match for 526 was reallocated in 2005 by County Council out of the half cent sales tax.

At what time was this funding approach conceived? Don’t the voters, like me, deserve an honest answer?

That’s the ONLY reason I’ve been following this debacle this long. The entire process has been a bait and switch.

Here is the link to the League of Women Voters forum.

http://charlestonwatch.com/2004/10/sales_tax_increase_forum_held.html#more

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John Cecil October 19, 2013 at 7:40 am

In 2012 County Council decided not to put the 526 on the ballot. This has never been voted on. The 2004 half cent sales tax was deliberate bait and switch.

Here is a link.

http://www.southcarolinaradion

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Napolean lost for a reason October 18, 2013 at 11:10 pm

Leon, pull your shit together. Everyone knows you have to support this boondoggle cause you want to be mayor. A) that will NEVER happen. B) no one has paid for it because all the money is borrowed from our kids via bonds. C) your third sentence does not even make sense, quit drinking. D) this project is equally in the states interest as Nikki’s support for dredging Savannah. You could literally save lives on 85 and elsewhere by spending this money elsewhere but you will lie, repeatedly, to win the favor of the elite few who have invested in the demise of Johns Island. E) I sat in traffic for 25 min on the connector this morning and 35 min on the way home and your only solution is spending 600 million dollars to keep me from my family even longer every day. F) Democrat in name only. For sale to the highest bidder. Like a horse carriage, crapping everywhere and quoting half truths about a sinking historical city.

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John Cecil October 18, 2013 at 11:47 pm

In 2012 County Council decided not to put the 526 on the ballot. This has never been voted on. The 2004 half cent sales tax was deliberate bait and switch.

Here is a link.

http://www.southcarolinaradionetwork.com/2012/08/15/i-526s-future-will-not-be-on-ballot-in-november/

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Leon Stavrinakis October 19, 2013 at 12:39 pm

The sales tax referendum could only list projects that would actually be paid for with county sales tax dollars. Since 526 was not ever intended to be funded by those county sales tax dollars of course it was not listed bc is could not be listed. It was discussed plenty during the lead up to the vote.

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John Cecil October 19, 2013 at 6:09 pm

So then when did Charleston County voters “approve and pay for 526 as you claim?”

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Leon Stavrinakis October 20, 2013 at 10:29 am

They voted for it when they voted for the referendum, when they vote for me, when they vote for Bobby Harrell, when they vote for Glenn McConnell, when they vote for Joe Riley, when they vote for Keith Summey, when they vote for Peter McCoy, when they vote for Wendell Gilliard, Elliott Summey, Billy Swails, Vic Rawl, etc when they vote repeatedly for all of us who have made this a priority and they paid for it with our local sales tax referendum they approved to provide the match and all of the state revenue Charleston produces and contributes to state coffers.

John Cecil October 21, 2013 at 8:13 am

You claimed the county voters voted for 526 when it wasn’t on any ballot. In fact the County chose not to put in the 2012 ballot.

http://www.southcarolinaradion

This is exactly why a law was passed that requires SCDOT to finance projects according to priority.

John Cecil October 21, 2013 at 8:45 am

You claim the opposition is a small vocal group, and that voters approved this when the people you mentioned campaigned not to allow a vote on 526 on the ballot in 2012.

http://www.southcarolinaradionetwork.com/2012/08/15/i-526s-future-will-not-be-on-ballot-in-november/

Now the proponents don’t want to compensate homeowners within 1000′ only after they learn there are 3000 of them.

Yet you can’t understand why the community would have a problem with that?

Read for yourself that NOAA, US Fish and Wildlife, and SCDNR all expressed serious concerns about the method that was used to select Alt G was flawed.

http://www.scdot.org/MCE/pdfs/DEIS/Appendices/AppendixF_Part4.pdf

This is what the US Fish and Wildlife said.

“Upon review of the data regarding this project’s ability to improve regional mobility the Service finds the benefits of improved individual travel times, at most five minutes, does not justify nor should it buttress the expenditure of more than $400 million dollars for the final leg of the Mark Clark Expressway.”

I don’t know what is going to happen next. I just wanted to clarify that the proponents of 526 are the ones who campaigned not to put 526 on the 2012 ballot, all the state and federal agencies expressed serous concerns, and the method used to finance this project circumvented state laws that require road projects to funded based on priority.

John Cecil October 21, 2013 at 9:06 am

In addition, had the County, DOT, or SIB, assessed the impact to the 3000 residents sooner we could have avoided this quagmire complexity. The County and DOT should have taken heed with the concerns of the State and Federal agencies, as they all said the method used to select Alt G was “flawed, arbitrary, oversimplified” and recommended avoiding the unnecessary impact of Alt G, and incorporated one or both of the two new bridges into the assessment method.

John Cecil October 21, 2013 at 9:22 am

Leon, last question, what do you suggest the residents within 1000′ do now to make sure they are compensated as County Council voted with their amendment? Many of the residents who will be within 100′-1000′ are so close it will be like living in a toll booth. How can the proponents of this continue to ignore the “adverse impact” to them? Or is it “End of Story” for them?

John Cecil October 21, 2013 at 9:36 am

Finally, while we disagree on the 526 project, many people, including myself, have volunteered countless hours to help people make a more informed decision. That’s why I made a documentary that interviewed residents within 1000′ And those people have always been my primary concern throughout this entire process, and the City, County and State should be doing more to address the impact road projects have on them, as the other state and federal agencies suggested.

John Cecil October 21, 2013 at 10:19 am

Sorry for another post, but I want to impart all the information I have on this project, while there is still time for public officials to make a more informed decision.

Officials should be aware that emissions, especially diesel, is listed as a carcinogen by the American Cancer Institute. Rep Johnson articulated these health concerns in the amendment County Council approved. My personal observation was that many of these residents within 1000′ will be exposed to higher levels of this known carcinogen — for example at the intersection on 526 and 17 could get really high as there will also be a traffic jam on 17.

I’m wondring who would be responsible if in 10 or 20 years if this is built, that these residents will have a higher number of illness and death as a result of this exposure?

That’s an issue I would like to see addressed, as the emissions at 526 and Rivers seemed particularly high and no one lives within 1000′ of that intersection.

Matt October 23, 2013 at 11:05 am

Lest you forget that a SUPPORTER of 526 on County Council, Vic Rawl, was the one to suggest 526 go on the ballot, but the people against the road voted it down because they KNEW THEY WOULD LOSE. With electoral proof that the public supports the road it would be a done deal, discussion over, backward Johns Island Nimby’s lose. The opposition decided to kill the proof and hope that the P&C could convince the public that a few anti-progess nutjobs represent the broader public opinion.

John Cecil October 19, 2013 at 6:17 pm

This is what you said, so when did voters vote and pay for 526 as you claimed?

“My voters, none of whom live on Kiawah, don’t just want this highway completed as planned, they need it, demand it, vote for it and paid for it. End of story.”

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Lee Grayson October 21, 2013 at 5:43 pm

I tried my best to be an informed voter in 2004 when I voted “yes” on the half-cent sales tax. I read every article about the tax in the press. I went to a public hearing for more information. I knew nothing about I-526 being involved. Furthermore, I went back and checked the Post and Courier archives. There was ZERO mention of I-526 in the newspaper articles about the tax. What was I supposed to do? Go to every council meeting, sit in the front row, and hope to catch the truth when you lean away from the microphone and whisper it? Or maybe I should just go to one of the backroom meetings of your good old boy club. Fat chance of that. What you did, what you continue to do, is dirty political gamesmanship at its worse. The minute one of you good old boys stops using tricks and political muscle to force this boondoggle through, it will be voted down, just like the DOT wanted to do.

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John Cecil October 18, 2013 at 11:47 pm

In 2012 County Council decided not to put the 526 on the ballot. This has never been voted on. The 2004 half cent sales tax was deliberate bait and switch.

Here is a link.

http://www.southcarolinaradionetwork.com/2012/08/15/i-526s-future-will-not-be-on-ballot-in-november/

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John Cecil October 19, 2013 at 8:01 am

I’m waiting for Leon Stavrinakis reply to his claim.

“My voters, none of whom live on Kiawah, don’t just want this highway completed as planned, they need it, demand it, vote for it and paid for it. End of story.”

When did voters in Charleston County vote for pay for the 526 extension?

Elliot Summey, and other proponents have also made the same claim. When in fact it is not true.

The local funding for extending 526 came from the 2004 half cent sales tax. Leon Stravinakis should remember as he was Chairman of County Council at the time. On the ballot there were a list of road project, and extending 526 wasn’t one of them. Chairman Stavrinakis also failed to mention the 526 extension project at the Leage of Woman Voters forum. Please read the details here, as the discussion was specifically about the half cent sales tax, as this has been a very contentious issue — the previous sales tax was thrown out.

http://charlestonwatch.com/2004/10/sales_tax_increase_forum_held.html#more

He can not defend his claim, “that voters approved this and funded it” because in 2012 County Council voted not to include 526 on the ballot.

http://www.southcarolinaradionetwork.com/2012/08/15/i-526s-future-will-not-be-on-ballot-in-november/

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John Cecil October 19, 2013 at 6:48 pm

(This was Rep. Stravrinakis response so far, I will keep updating as I double posted by accident)

Leon Stavrinakis wrote:

• 6 hours ago

“The sales tax referendum could only list projects that would actually be paid for with county sales tax dollars. Since 526 was not ever intended to be funded by those county sales tax dollars of course it was not listed bc is could not be listed. It was discussed plenty during the lead up to the vote.”

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John Cecil October 19, 2013 at 6:49 pm

(And I asked)

John Cecil wrote:

• 27 minutes ago

This is what you said, so when did voters vote and pay for 526 as you claimed?

“My voters, none of whom live on Kiawah, don’t just want this highway completed as planned, they need it, demand it, vote for it and paid for it. End of story.”

Reply
John Cecil October 21, 2013 at 8:49 am

Leon Stavrinakis

• a day ago

They voted for it when they voted for the referendum, when they vote for me, when they vote for Bobby Harrell, when they vote for Glenn McConnell, when they vote for Joe Riley, when they vote for Keith Summey, when they vote for Peter McCoy, when they vote for Wendell Gilliard, Elliott Summey, Billy Swails, Vic Rawl, etc when they vote repeatedly for all of us who have made this a priority and they paid for it with our local sales tax referendum they approved to provide the match and all of the state revenue Charleston produces and contributes to state coffers.

John Cecil

• 33 minutes ago

You claimed the county voters voted for 526 when it wasn’t on any ballot. In fact the County chose not to put in the 2012 ballot.

http://www.southcarolinaradion

This is exactly why a law was passed that requires SCDOT to finance projects according to priority.

John Cecil

• a few seconds ago

You claim the opposition is a small vocal group, and that voters approved this when the people you mentioned campaigned not to allow a vote on 526 on the ballot in 2012.

http://www.southcarolinaradion

Now the proponents don’t want to compensate homeowners within 1000′ only after they learn there are 3000 of them.

Yet you can’t understand why the community would have a problem with that?

Read for yourself that NOAA, US Fish and Wildlife, and SCDNR all expressed serious concerns about the method that was used to select Alt G was flawed.

http://www.scdot.org/MCE/pdfs/

This is what the US Fish and Wildlife said.

“Upon review of the data regarding this project’s ability to improve regional mobility the Service finds the benefits of improved individual travel times, at most five minutes, does not justify nor should it buttress the expenditure of more than $400 million dollars for the final leg of the Mark Clark Expressway.”

I don’t know what is going to happen next. I just wanted to clarify that the proponents of 526 are the ones who campaigned not to put 526 on the 2012 ballot, all the state and federal agencies expressed serous concerns, and the method used to finance this project circumvented state laws that require road projects to funded based on priority.

Reply
John Cecil October 21, 2013 at 9:29 am

John Cecil

• 20 minutes ago

In addition, had the County, DOT, or SIB, assessed the impact to the 3000 residents sooner we could have avoided this quagmire complexity. The County and DOT should have taken heed with the concerns of the State and Federal agencies, as they all said the method used to select Alt G was “flawed, arbitrary, oversimplified” and recommended avoiding the unnecessary impact of Alt G, and incorporated one or both of the two new bridges into the assessment method.

• 4 minutes ago

Leon, last question, what do you suggest the residents within 1000′ do now to make sure they are compensated as County Council voted with their amendment? Many of the residents who will be within 100′-1000′ are so close it will be like living in a toll booth. How can the proponents of this continue to ignore the “adverse impact” to them? Or is it “End of Story” for them?

Matt October 23, 2013 at 11:18 am

All the Nix 526ers are threatening electoral destruction to anybody that supports this road. That sounds familiar….oh ya…in the last election for mayor. Everyone said “mayor Riley is going down, Mayor Riley’s pro-growth strategy has lost touch with the majority of his constituents and now he will pay!” Fast forward to election day….Mayor Riley squeaks by with 68% OF THE VOTE. I saw 1 Joe Riley election sign for every 20 I saw for Gregorie, but the SILENT MAJORITY spoke. Your anti-growth candidates have lost time and time again, your threats carry little weight.

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Lee Grayson October 26, 2013 at 7:40 pm

The only problem with your argument is that it’s completely wrong :) Mayor Riley has never run as “pro-growth” candidate. His campaigns usually focus on livability issues. Of course he does not always govern the way he campaigns. That’s a different story.

Reply

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