Ongoing project will widen I-26 from Irmo to Little Mountain

COLUMBIA,  SC (WOLO) — Christy Hall with the South Carolina Department of Transportation and Governor Henry McMaster gave updates on a project that will widen nearly 16 miles of Interstate-26, and ease traffic between Columbia and Newberry.

As part of SCDOT’s 10-Year-Plan to upgrade South Carolina highways continues, I-26 will be widened from four to six lanes between the Little Mountain and Peak exits, and will be widened from four to eight lanes between the Peak and Irmo exits.

The $512 million dollar project will also include seven new overpass bridges and three reconstructed interchanges at the Little Mountain, Chapin, and Peak exits.

Christy Hall, the Secretary of Transportation with SCDOT says the budget for the project fits inside of the $2 billion being invested into the I-26 corridor.

“As I said this project is being accelerated, it’s more than 3 years faster than what we traditionally would deliver a project, and I’m pleased to announce today that this project is nearing 60% complete itself. So again expedited time delivery on this particular project. We expect to complete this work by the end of 2024, so right at two years from now we should be complete with all the work on this section of I-26,” says Hall.

The widenings are meant to ease traffic and freight deliveries, and help future upgrades go more smoothly.

According to the SCDOT, the new concrete pavement being used on the roads is expected to have a service life of 40 to 50 years versus traditional asphalt pavement.

“We would expect that roughly every other year we’ll push out a 10 to 11 mile widening section of I-26 from Columbia to Charleston and work it from either end coming towards the middle,” Hall says regarding I-26 from Columbia to Charleston.

Two concrete plants have been built near the interstate to expedite materials needed for the roads.

According to Hall, upgrade completions to the area of I-26 known as “Malfunction Junction” or “Carolina Crossways” are still about five to six years away.

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