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The saga of the Mark Clark Expressway (526) began in 1960 with planning for a four-lane freeway connecting employment and residential centers from Mount Pleasant through North Charleston and West Ashley to the Sea Islands and Downtown Charleston.
The construction chapter began in 1979, and by 1982, commuters were driving on the first section of what is now the Mark Clark. A decade later, it spanned the Cooper and Wando Rivers, connecting Daniel Island and Mount Pleasant. In 1993, the James Island Connector opened, providing an accessible link between Downtown and James Island. That was 25 years ago.
Skip ahead to 2004, voters of Charleston County approved the half-cent sales tax for transportation, public transportation and greenbelt projects in the county.
A few years later, in June 2007, Charleston County, the S.C. Dept. of Transportation and the S.C. Transportation Infrastructure Bank co-signed an intergovernmental agreement to fund completion of the Mark Clark Expressway to connect the current terminus at Hwy 17 in West Ashley with the James Island Connector.
We’ve been stuck on that chapter of the Mark Clark Expressway saga for the last 11 years. It’s time to turn the page… and there is a window of opportunity.
Charleston County has submitted a detailed funding plan and met the established requirements. Governor McMaster has publicly stated his support for completion of the Mark Clark.
The State Infrastructure Bank is scheduled to meet on Tuesday, June 26. They need to vote at that meeting to release the funds so we can start writing the next chapter.
Add your voice to the chorus of supporters.
Call the S.C. Transportation Infrastructure Bank at 803-737-2875 and tell them:
“Completing the Mark Clark Expressway will improve commute times for workers across the entire region. It will provide long overdue traffic relief and a critical hurricane evacuation route for residents of James Island, Johns Island, West Ashley and the Sea Islands. Vote on June 26 to release funds and get started on Mark Clark Expressway completion.”