Update: Instead of passing the road project to the City of Charleston, county council has voted to build the road.
In the face of an organized public resistance to the road project Charleston County Council has previously tried handing off responsibility for the I-526 leg from James to Johns islands and up to West Ashley — that attempt failed when S.C. DOT gave the project back to the county, but council members may now have another out, if they'll take it.
On Tuesday, Charleston City Council voted 11-2 to ask for control of completing the $558 million extension, most of which runs through or near incorporated City of Charleston land.
Many report abound on the meeting, but I'll point you to my preferred at Live 5 News.
Still, at least one county council members says don't expect council members opposed to the project to eagerly support handing off the project to the city, who at this point is seen as very likely to push to complete the road.
As for why county council might be willing to hand the project over, it's caught between the desire to vote the project down to appease vocal public opinion, or vote to build the road to avoid an as-much-as $12 million penalty for all the money the state has spent planning the road to date.
The next meeting of county council is slated for November 20 at 6 p.m.
Update November 21: While the official slot on whether or not to hand control of I-526 to the City of Charleston wasn't due until county council's December 16 meeting, that didn't stop a good bit of debate from coming up last night.
So far, it's sounding like county council is fairly well split on the matter, so the week before Christmas should be quite a throwdown.
Update 2, December 4: The full vote on handing I-526 over to the City of Charleston is anticipated and expected for the December 13 meeting of county council, but a glimpse of the debate is expected tonight at the Charleston County Finance Committee meeting.
Both Speaker of the House Bobby Harrell and Charleston City Mayor Joe Riley are expected to talk about the project. It's at 5 p.m.
Update 3, December 13: The much anticipated vote by Charleston County Council on whether or not to turn over the project is expected to come tonight at 5 p.m., but the current reading is that the majority of council opposes the project.
So much so that it seems unlikely the council will even vote on turning the project over to the city, instead the council could vote on whether or not to complete the I-526 project.