Community Infrastructure Enhancement Plan
The Community Infrastructure Enhancement Plan is part of the overall Environmental Justice Community Mitigation Plan and is focused on providing infrastructure improvements to address bicycle and pedestrian safety, access to community centers, landscaping options at neighborhood entrances, project-related stormwater improvements, lack of access to bus shelters, and traffic calming measures that would be implemented as part of the project. This plan was developed based on input from the Community Advisory Council and members of the community and has been coordinated with the City of North Charleston.
Bicycle/Pedestrian Connectivity and Safety Improvements
SCDOT will fund shared-use pathways to provide connectivity to the community center, pedestrian bridges to cross the railroad and Filbin Creek, improved sidewalks along Rebecca Street and Twitty Street, and new sidewalks along Russelldale Avenue, Elder Avenue, Dorothy Williams Boulevard (from the shared-use path to the existing sidewalk on James Bell Drive), and Railroad Avenue. Pedestrian safety measures will also be installed at the railroad crossing on Taylor Street. Additional pedestrian recommendations based on public comments include the extension of sidewalk on Piedmont Avenue from Iron Street to Marson Street, and pedestrian railroad crossing improvements on Taylor Street. View these proposed improvements. (LINK TO MAP)
Bus Shelter Amenities
SCDOT will partner with the Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA to fund bus shelter facilities at all stops along Rivers Avenue between Taylor Street and Mall Drive that border the Ferndale, Highland Terrace, Liberty Park, and Russelldale neighborhoods.
SCDOT will provide skill building programs to create awareness of and expose high school students to career opportunities in the transportation industry. The Summer Transportation Institute Program will begin in 2023 and will provide two summer transportation institute programs that accommodate 15-20 students per program.
Traffic Calming Measures
SCDOT will fund and install traffic calming measures on the following streets: Taylor Street, James Bell Drive, Dorothy Williams Boulevard, Rebecca Street, Russelldale Avenue, Piedmont Avenue, and Railroad Avenue. Additional traffic calming recommendations based on public comments include the addition of speed humps on Taylor Street in Highland Terrace and on Elder Avenue south of James Bell Drive, relocating proposed speed humps further south on Piedmont Avenue and Railroad Avenue, and implementing crosswalks at the locations identified by survey participants after further investigation of feasibility. Possible construction of speed humps along Piedmont Avenue and Railroad Avenue will be determined following a speed study to determine if the speed limit can be reduced to 25 miles per hour. View these proposed improvements. (LINK TO MAP)
Stormwater Infrastructure Improvements
SCDOT will fund and install stormwater improvement measures on sections of the following streets: Harper Street, Willis Drive, Elder Avenue, Taylor Street, James Bell Drive, Rebecca Street, Piedmont Avenue, and Railroad Avenue. Potential drainage improvements will also be investigated along Target Street and in conjunction with locations recommended for pedestrian improvements. View these proposed improvements. (LINK TO MAP)
Aesthetics and Landscaping Improvements
SCDOT will fund and implement landscaping improvements at neighborhood entrances on Piedmont Drive (Ferndale), Fuller Street (Ferndale), Taylor Street (Highland Terrace/Liberty Park), and Rebecca Street (Russelldale) to help reinforce neighborhood identities. In addition, there will be an opportunity for public art at shared-use path trailheads, pocket parks, and the community center. Recommendations also include the addition of seating at neighborhood entrances and lighting for neighborhood signage; improvements for additional entrance locations at James Bell Drive at Rivers Avenue, Target Street at Rivers Avenue, and the neighborhood entrance at Joppa Way; beautification between Life Changers Covenant Ministries and the I-526 westbound ramp, along with the inclusion of an upgraded interstate privacy fence; and educational displays and signs to warn community center users of potential alligator encounters.
View the materials from the Community Improvements Open house held on March 6, 2021:
Questions? Call or text the Community Office at 843.258.1135
How would the project impact the Russelldale and Highland Terrace-Liberty Park Community Centers?
The proposed improvements to I-526 and I-26 as part of the I-526 LCC WEST would require the removal of the Russelldale Community Center and result in impacts to the Highland Terrace-Liberty Park Community Center. To address the potential impacts to both facilities, SCDOT will fund the construction of replacement recreational facilities and associated infrastructure to mitigate project impacts. SCDOT is in the process of acquiring property and would provide funding to the City of North Charleston to construct one large, modern, centrally located community center complex with expanded programs and operating hours in Liberty Park and two pocket parks; one in Highland Terrace and the other in Russelldale. Additional details of the amenities to be included in the community center and the pocket parks will be included in an inter-governmental agreement between SCDOT and the City of North Charleston. Construction of the new, centrally located community center and the pocket parks will be completed prior to the project construction impacting the existing community centers.
Take a look at these potential, new Community Centers
Some of the recreational amenities will include, not are not limited to: (include full list from the final FEIS plan)
- Classrooms designed for flexibility, which include moveable panel divider walls allowing room size
- to be modified to meet program needs,
- Basketball courts,
- Facility approaches to be well-lit, and meet design requirements to provide safe lighting for center visitors,
- Covered shelters with grills,
- Walkways, common spaces to be user-friendly and defined by vegetation or other natural definitions; fencing should not be first choice,
- Wayfarer/directional signs to help guide residents to new facilities,
- Facility and pocket park approaches designed with pedestrian facilities, crosswalks, and traffic
- calming measures such as speed humps,
- Emergency generators to enable the community center to be used as a food and supply distribution center during emergencies and/or inclement weather,
- Facility to include shared use path to provide recreational opportunities for walking/biking and connectivity to North Charleston’s proposed Greenway system,
- Satellite parking on Dorothy Williams Boulevard and Margaret Drive, adjacent to the shared use paths, to provide additional access points for residents driving to the community center,
- Audio/visual equipment,
- Artwork and visual displays based on recommendations from the Community History Preservation Program, and,
- Satellite parking at the trail heads.
Mitigation barriers are walls constructed along a highway to protect sensitive land-uses from visual impacts associated with transportation projects. SCDOT will construct mitigation barriers along the eastbound and westbound sides of I-26 between the I-526 and Remount Road interchanges to benefit the residents of the Highland Terrace and Liberty Park communities.
SCDOT will require the contractor to submit a design for Interstate 526 that reduces the anticipated noise levels for receptors within the Liberty Park, Russelldale, and Ferndale communities.