COLUMBIA, SC - Congressman James E. Clyburn announces the City of Charleston will receive a $7 million Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equality (RAISE) planning grant through the U.S. Department of Transportation for the Lowcountry Lowline project. This project will reconnect disadvantaged communities divided by I-26 on the Charleston Peninsula by revitalizing an abandoned rail corridor to connect residents of seven neighborhoods to local schools, jobs, and a future rapid transit hub.
Congressman Clyburn was instrumental in securing provisions in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act that directed at least $15 million in RAISE grant funding to projects located in persistent poverty communities and waived matching fund requirements for those historically disadvantage areas.
“I am so pleased that Charleston will benefit from the updated RAISE grant program,” said Congressman Clyburn. “This project will reconnect communities, improve their quality of life, and serve as a catalyst for economic growth. This is an example of the federal government investing in historically neglected areas and providing equity and opportunity for them to gain access the promise of America.”
This grant award will fund planning and pre-construction activities such as design engineering, permitting, environmental remediation of contaminated soil, NEPA review, equity-focused community engagement, and project management for an approximate 2-mile shared pathway that will create new linkages to metro area's transit system. This project will utilize an abandoned railway track and a neglected highway corridor to transform the backbone of the Charleston Peninsula into an urban greenway with bike lanes, pedestrian paths, and a hub for the Lowcountry Rapid Transit bus system.
RAISE grants are awarded through a competitive process and selected based on criteria that focus on safety, environmental sustainability, quality of life, economic competitiveness and opportunity, state of good repair, partnerships and innovation. Additionally, the updated RAISE criteria also evaluates projects based on mobility and community connectivity.
This award is part of $1.5 billion in RAISE grant funding that is being distributed in 2022 to projects that will have a significant local or regional impact. As a result of receiving a RAISE grant in this cycle, the City of Charleston will be eligible to apply for additional funding when the Lowcountry Lowline project is ready for construction.