Monday, July 28, 2014
The county has begun assembling a list of crumbling roads and nightmarish intersections to address should the voters renew the one-cent sales transportation tax in November.
Berkeley County held an invitation-only workshop July 18 to begin selecting and prioritizing road projects.
Earlier this year, Berkeley County’s legislative delegation successfully pushed for a new S.C. law to allow an early extension of the seven-year transportation sales tax, also known as the one-cent sales tax. Under old law, the county could not seek renewal until after the tax expired, potentially losing millions in tax revenues. But now, the county does not have to wait for the tax to lapse before asking voters to renew it.
Berkeley County voters will have a chance to extend the tax in the November general election. Now the county must target roads in need of improvement to show voters where the money will go if the referendum is passed.
The July 18 meeting included public officials from county, state and municipal governments, and business leaders. Berkeley County held the meeting, and three county officials attended: Supervisor Dan Davis and council members Ken Gunn and Caldwell Pinckney. Councilman-elect Tommy Newell also attended.
While the meeting discussed public business, there was not a quorum present, which means the public did not have to be notified.
“It was just like a regular meeting. It wasn’t intended to be public. Of course, anybody could come to it,” Davis told the Independent. “We just wanted to get input.”
Many members of the Berkeley County Legislative Delegation also attended, including: Rep. Joe Daning, Rep. Eddy Southard, Sen. Paul Campbell, Sen. Larry Grooms, and Rep. Samuel Rivers.
“What (the meeting) really was, was to come up with a proposed listing of roads projects that would be used if we were able to extend the one-cent sales tax,” Pinckney said. He added that the gathering sought to “identify and prioritize those roads.
“We looked at some of the state highways ... Frank (Carson), our engineer, had a proposed list, and what we did was expound on that list and add to that list.”
Pinckney said the roads projects are necessary to quality of life in Berkeley County.
“Infrastructure is directly related to the quality of life. Where there’s no infrastructure, some basic needs are missing,” Pinckney said.
Gunn agreed, but said he was uncertain as to how the county will prioritize all of the needed projects in the area since there is so much need.
“There’s a lot of road projects that need to be done. The priorities are going to be difficult and interesting,” Gunn told the Independent.
Here is the list of the potential roads capacity projects for the one-cent sales tax extension:
• Henry Brown Boulevard extension, phase 2 (Goose Creek)
• Clements Ferry Road widening, phase 2
• U.S. 52 and U.S. 176 interchange (Goose Creek)
• U.S. 176 widening (Goose Creek)
• Sheep Island interchange and I-26 widening (Summerville)
• Nexton Parkway
• Jedburg Road interchange (Summerville)
• Railroad Avenue extension (Hanahan)
• Sheep Island Parkway South (Summerville)
• Redbank Road widening (Goose Creek)
Here is the list of potential major resurfacing projects:
• S.C. 45
• Black Tom Road
• S.C. 402
• Old Highway 52 (Goose Creek)
• Hoodtown Road (Bonneau)
• Dr. Evans Road (Moncks Corner)
• S.C. 6 (Main Street, Moncks Corner)
And, here is the list of potential intersection improvements:
• Daniel Island Drive and Seven Farms Drive
• Royle Road and Sangaree Parkway (Sangaree)
• Foster Creek Road and Tanner Ford Boulevard (Hanahan)
• Murray Drive and Yeamans Hall Road (Hanahan)