SC

SCDOT: ‘Carolina Crossroads’ Update Coming

“Next phases” of biggest infrastructure project in South Carolina history set to be unveiled …

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The South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) is unveiling the “next phases of construction” on its largest, most ambitious (and longest-awaited) infrastructure project – ‘Carolina Crossroads.’ As I noted three-and-a-half years ago when this costly project first got underway, it aims to “belatedly untangle the unmitigated cluster” that is the intersection of Interstate 20, Interstate 26 and Interstate 126 just northwest of Columbia, S.C.

Handling three of the most heavily traveled thoroughfares in South Carolina, this hopelessly outdated double-interchange takes traffic coming in and out of the state capital in Columbia (Interstate 126) as well as regional traffic headed to and from Charleston, Greenville/ Spartanburg (Interstate 26) and to and from Augusta and Florence (Interstate 20).

“During rush hour, the area turns into a parking lot,” I noted previously. “And during non-rush hour times, its confusing layout causes numerous accidents.”

In addition to modernizing/ reconceptualizing these interchanges – collectively referred to as “Malfunction Junction” – the project also includes extensive widening of the affected interstate highways along with the addition and upgrading of multiple interchanges in and around the affected area.

According to a news release from the agency, SCDOT’s upcoming forum this week with “prospective proposers” will discuss “future plans and upcoming work” on this massive project – which was originally slated to cost an estimated $1.6 billion.

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“The purpose of this meeting will be to collect information on the industry’s interest in the project and to improve the design-build industry’s understanding of the re-phased project requirements,” the release announcing the forum (.pdf) noted.

SCDOT announced in a separate release (.pdf) its plans to host an open house meeting for members of the community about the next steps in the project. That meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday, April 9, 2024 at the Dutch Square Center located at 421 Bush River Road. 

“The next phases of construction have been scheduled to advance the interstate widening projects on I-20 and the improvements to the I-126 and I-26 interchange while utility coordination and project development continues in the main interchange area,” SCDOT’s release noted. “Drivers in the area can expect to see clearing work continue throughout the project corridor. This includes building demolitions and other clearing of the right of way. This work will allow SCDOT to expedite the utility work needed to begin work on the system to system interchange.”

SCDOT said it plans to begin “accelerated” work on the Interstate 20 portion of the project in 2025 and plans to begin work on the outdated Interstate intersections in 2026. Officials insist the project – which was originally scheduled to be completed in 2029 – is ahead of schedule.

“Both of these phases of work have been accelerated and advanced to tie in with other widening and interchange improvement projects completing soon,” SCDOT’s release noted.

FITSNews will be in attendance at Tuesday morning’s meeting with the “prospective proposers” – and we are planning to attend the April open house meeting as well. Stay tuned for a full report …

UPDATE | FULL COVERAGE

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR …

(Travis Bell Photography)

Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina and before that he was a bass guitarist and dive bar bouncer. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven (soon to be eight) children.

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1 comment

Joseph Jeter Top fan February 28, 2024 at 11:29 am

Once again, highway dollars are spent in Columbia while the rest of the state suffers. On the plus side, it hopefully will make avoiding Columbia a little quicker.

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