Record-Breaking Road Construction

Largest road project in S.C. history being planned

March 20, 2018 - 2:31 pm

The reconfiguring of the Interstate 26 interchange with Interstates 20 and 126 will be the largest infrastructure project in South Carolina history.

Known as Carolina Crossroads (or “Malfunction Junction” for locals), the South Carolina Department of Transportation expects the project to cost between $1.3-$1.5 billion. It is the department’s number one statewide priority.

“It will be the single-largest infrastructure project in the state’s history — $1.5 billion project — critical to our movement of freight as well as commuting route here in the Columbia area,” state Transportation Secretary Christy Hall said.

Hall said some of the funding for the project comes from a 2013 bond package approved by the General Assembly which gave the agency $50 million each year for several interstate projects.

“Since that time we have advanced four major interstate projects across the state,” Hall said. Those projects include the Interstate 85/385 interchange, the Interstate 85 corridor between Greenville and Spartanburg and Carolina Crossroads.

Other funding sources include a Federal-Aid Interstate Program, and revenues generated by the state gasoline tax, an increase passed by the Legislature in 2016.

“We will turn our attention to completing the Malfunction Junction project and getting it ready to go to contract,” Hall said.

Hall said with a combination of funding sources, the project would be a good fit for President Trump’s infrastructure improvement plan, which encourages private and public investment in infrastructure projects that receive federal funding.

“Our plan is to be at a point hopefully within the next 12 months we can start the procurement process to getting a contractor on board hopefully by the end of — two years from now,” she said. “We’re still going through the public involvement phase of it now and the environmental work that’s necessary to make sure that we’re balancing the needs of the traveling public with the impacts to the human and natural environment. So we’re still finalizing that.”

The DOT plans to release its draft for the highway configurations this year before holding public hearings on the environmental impact statements.  A decision on the final plan is expected by the end of 2018 with construction expected to begin in 2019.

“I’m pleased where we are,” Hall said. “I think we’ve moved quickly on our projects.”

Click here for more information on Carolina Crossroads.

MARCH 20, 2018 BY RENEE SEXTON (South Carolina Radio Network) 

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