Intensive community outreach efforts help minimize and mitigate highway improvement impacts on environmental justice neighborhoods
The I-526 and I-26 interchange is flanked by environmental justice (EJ) neighborhoods comprised of low-income and minority residents, which were affected by construction of I-26 in the 1960s, construction of I-526 in the 1990s, and currently by the proposed I-526 Lowcountry Corridor West improvements. To reduce impacts on these communities, the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) engaged our professionals to conduct outreach, assess impacts, and develop plans to addresses direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts on EJ neighborhoods.
We are focused on building trust and establishing relationships to help develop measures that offset project impacts and address the needs and priorities of neighborhood residents. Our work also supports the $146M EJ Community Mitigation Plan, which includes developing metrics to track how EJ mitigation is actualized and experienced by residents while also guarding against outcomes that could affect neighborhood affordability.
Ultimately, SCDOT and FHWA hope to improve congestion around the densely developed Charleston metro area with limited negative impacts on surrounding communities.
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