After more than 18 years of planning, permitting and engineering work, the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) has received bids and awarded a construction contract to proceed with the $137 million project to build the final 3.9 miles of the Berlin G. Myers Parkway. The final phase of the project will deliver a new four-lane roadway and a shared use multipurpose pathway along the Sawmill Branch Trail for bicycle and pedestrian users. The Parkway will serve both Summerville, by reducing traffic on Main Street, and the county as a whole as it provides connectivity with other well-travelled roads including US 17A and Bacons Bridge Road.
The project required extensive permitting and interagency coordination to develop a project that met all of the regulatory requirements and fit well into the region. A number of partnerships were formed during that time to bring this final phase to construction.
Secretary of Transportation Christy A. Hall said the cooperation was a significant factor. “SCDOT is very thankful for the many partners that worked tirelessly over the years to make this project a reality. The level of cooperation and coordination on this project are unprecedented and we look forward to building this regionally significant and much needed project,” said Hall. She continued, “In particular, I would like to thank the US Army Corps of Engineers for their commitment to ensuring that we deliver a great project and to Senator Lindsey Graham for his steadfast efforts to get the project to construction.”
Stephen Grant, Chairman of the Dorchester County Transportation Authority (DCTA), noted the local importance of the Parkway. “The Berlin G. Myers Parkway will serve as a bypass that will take the pressure off our local roads. Main Street is at its limits and cannot be extended. In addition, congestion will be relieved around Summerville High School. There are many partners to thank for persevering for many years to get this project to construction. Especially the people of Summerville and Dorchester County who placed their trust in us to enhance the quality of life for our citizens.” Grant said.
George Bailey, Chairman of the Charleston Area Transportation Study Committee (CHATS) and a Dorchester County Council member, said: “This is a great moment for the residents of Dorchester County and the result of years of hard work at every level of government. Our enduring gratitude goes to our regional partners, SCDOT, SC Transportation Infrastructure Bank and Senator Graham for his efforts regarding this vital piece of transportation.”
South Carolina Transportation Infrastructure Bank Board Chairman John B. White, Jr. added, “This is an excellent example of how a focused and collaborative effort on a complicated and complex project can break through years of obstacles to provide much needed traffic relief for the citizens of our state. The State Infrastructure Bank appreciates the opportunity to assist the Dorchester County Transportation Authority, Charleston Area Transportation Study and SCDOT fund and deliver a successful project for the Summerville area.”
The total project budget is approximately $137 million and is supported by $35 million DCTA funds, $30 million State Infrastructure Bank funds and $72 million in Charleston Area Transportation Study / SCDOT Funds.