So much for the grand plans for the Intermodal Transportation Center that we were all looking forward to in North Charleston. You know, that brand new railway transit passenger station that would connect Amtrak with the airport and the bus lines and other ways of getting in to, out of, and around the lowcountry?
More than 15 years ago, planning began for an Intermodal Transportation Center that would, among other things, allow Amtrak to leave its outmoded station in North Charleston. Now the push is to upgrade the old train station site for that purpose, despite having spent $10 million on the ITC property on Montague Avenue.
Apparently, there’s no way the 36-acre site can be developed as intended because of a fundamental conflict with Amtrak and CSX rail that would cost a staggering $25 million to fix.
The dilemma has local officials asking the Federal Transit Authority, which put up the money for the project, for permission to abandon the Montague Avenue site in favor of the old train station. Charleston County Councilman Elliott Summey tells us that ongoing conversations with the FTA are encouraging, and he expects a decision soon. Mr. Summey also is chairman of CARTA’s board.