Together at 11 a.m. on Oct. 31, leaders with Charleston County Government and the City of North Charleston gathered to celebrate the completion of the Future Drive & Northside Drive Extension project.
The Future Drive and Northside Drive Extension project provides traffic congestion relief by connecting U.S. Highway 78 to Palmetto Commerce Parkway and also Northside Drive, which runs parallel to I-26 and connects to Ashley Phosphate Road. The project built three new four-lane roads, each with a multi-use paths and a sidewalk, providing motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians additional routes to use in a congested and growing area of North Charleston.
The project was funded by the Charleston County Transportation Sales Tax and was one of the bonded projects specifically listed on the 2006 referendum approved by County voters. In 2009, the City of North Charleston and Charleston County agreed that the City would manage the completion of the design and construction of the project, with the County overseeing expenditures and providing the funds.
The construction was divided into three phases
- Phase-1 Ingleside Boulevard starts at the intersection of Hwy-78 and Shipley Street and extends to the south about 2,000 feet and then connects to Northside Drive Extension. Highway-78 was widened to provide two left turn lanes onto Ingleside Boulevard.
- Phase-2 Northside Drive Extension connects Ingleside Boulevard to Northside Drive. It is about 3 miles long and includes two bridges.
- Phase-3 Future Drive connects Northside Drive Extension to Palmetto Commerce Parkway and includes a bridge to pass over the Norfolk Southern railroad track.
- Traffic signals were installed at the major intersections; Hwy 78 at Ingleside Blvd, Palmetto Commerce Parkway at Future Drive, Future Drive at Northside Drive Extension, and on existing Northside Drive at Norwalk Drive.
- Intersections have decorative mast-arm traffic signals, handicap ramps, color-stamped crosswalks, trash and recycle bins, and benches
- Each new road has an enclosed drainage system with curb and gutter
- Street lighting is state of the art LED technology to reduce maintenance and energy costs
- Irrigated landscape strips with oak trees were planted between the roadway and the sidewalk and multi-use path
- A rain garden system on Ingleside Boulevard treats stormwater while providing an appealing landscape to adjacent motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians
- Storm water filters protect the water quality of Blue House Swamp.
- Sewer and water mains were extended along the new roads in cooperation with the North Charleston Sewer District and the Charleston Water System.
Visit the official website at http://roads.charlestoncounty.org for public meeting notices and up-to-date news and information about all Charleston County Transportation Sales Tax road projects. Anyone with questions about the project can call Charleston County’s Transportation Development Department at (843) 202-6140.