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Coastal Conservation League critical of Mark Clark extension

Seeks support to ask Infrastructure Bank to reject financing request
Should the Mark Clark expressway be extended? Folk on Johns Island and elsewhere fear even more development it it were extended while the proponents of the extension look to an easing of traffic congestion on parts of both Johns and James Island. We suspect that both views may be correct. The issue is very important for the community and we publish below a release by the Coastal Conservation League, an entity for which we have a high respect, seeking to halt the development.

Dear Friend,
Every year the South Carolina State Transportation Infrastructure Bank accepts and reviews applications for transportation projects from local governments across the state. In order to receive funding from the bank, the applicants must demonstrate a public need for the project and must provide an adequate financial match for the project. The Infrastructure Bank met on December 15 to discuss the applications for funding this year.

The Infrastructure Bank received over $1 billion in funding requests, but only has $300 million to award. The projects for which applicants have asked funding include Highway 17 through Beaufort and Colleton Counties ($150 million requested), road widenings (SC 24, US 76 and SC 247) in Anderson County ($150 million requested), a continuation of the Horry County "RIDE Program" ($150 million requested), and a bundle of projects in Charleston County, including a Port Access Road built from the new port terminal in North Charleston to I-26 and an extension of the Mark Clark Expressway ($720 million requested).

Please help the Coastal Conservation League convince the South Carolina State Transportation Infrastructure Bank that the Charleston County application for funding for the Mark Clark extension should not be approved. It is outrageous and excessive for the following reasons:

• While the Port Access Road is a road of statewide significance, the Mark Clark Expressway extension is not. Traffic models show that the extension will actually worsen congestion on 44 miles of road. Only 21 miles of road in the Charleston region will be improved by the extension of the Mark Clark. Many of the roads that will worsen are Charleston's most heavily traveled. Charleston County should be working to improve these roads, not to increase their congestion.

• Charleston County is asking for $720 million, even though the Infrastructure Bank only has $300 million to give away statewide. Charleston County's application would sap two-and-a-half years of funding away from projects in other parts of the state with true statewide significance.

There are many ways you can help us oppose Charleston County's application for funding for the Mark Clark extension:

• Visit our website, www.CoastalConservationLeague.org press here, to learn more about the project. You will find maps and data related to the Charleston County's Mark Clark extension.

• E-mail, call or write your local elected officials and the media in your area to let them know that you oppose Charleston County's Mark Clark extension application because funding it would take years of funding away from other projects around the state. - possibly current and future projects in your community. You will find talking points on our website, www.CoastalConservationLeague.org

• Forward this e-mail to anyone you think would be interested in this issue. Encourage them to sign-up for our e-mail alerts at www.CoastalConservationLeague.org

Megan J. Terebus

Coastal Conservation League
PO Box 1765 (29402)
328 East Bay Street
Charleston, SC 29401
ph. 843.723.8035 ext. 18
fax 843.723.8308

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