Interstate 26 in South Carolina
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Interstate 26 in South Carolina

Interstate 26 marker

Interstate 26
James F. Brynes Memorial Freeway
Route information
Maintained by SCDOT
Length220.7 mi[1] (355.2 km)
Existed1960-present
Major junctions
West end at the North Carolina line near Landrum
  near Spartanburg
in Clinton
near Columbia
in Columbia
in Cayce
near Holly Hill
in North Charleston
East end in Charleston
Location
CountiesSpartanburg, Laurens, Newberry, Lexington, Richland, Calhoun, Orangeburg, Dorchester, Berkeley, Charleston
Highway system

Interstate 26 (I-26) is a South Carolina Interstate highway running generally east-west from near Landrum, in Spartanburg County, to U.S. Route 17, in Charleston, South Carolina. It is also the longest interstate highway in South Carolina.

Route description

I-26 runs 220 miles through South Carolina. Mile markers run from west (north) to east (south). Mile Marker 0 is in the mountains at the NC state line. The last exit, at US 17 south of Charleston, is exit 221.

I-26 runs between the Broad and Saluda Rivers, descending from the mountains to the piedmont or midlands. At Columbia, I-126 crosses the confluence of the Broad and Saluda, which together form the Congaree, near the Columbia Canal and water treatment plant. I-26 continues following the Congaree, until it hops south over into the Cooper and Ashley Drainage, then down to the coast.

I-26 is predominantly a four-lane rural interstate with 70-mile-per-hour (110 km/h) speed limits. In the Columbia and Charleston areas, the interstate widens to six-lanes, but speeds are lower.

I-26 enters South Carolina just northeast of Landrum, traveling a southeasterly direction. The first major city along its route is Spartanburg, where it intersects I-85 to Greenville and Charlotte. As the interstate weaves along the terrain, it reaches Clinton; where westbound travelers can connect with I-385 towards Greenville. Traveling through the Sumter National Forest, it connects with Newberry before entering the Midlands. At Columbia in a section known as "Malfunction Junction", it connects with I-20, to Augusta and Florence, and I-126 towards the downtown area; it then goes south over the Saluda River and into Lexington County for the second of eventually four times along its course. At Cayce, it connects with I-77 to Charlotte. South of Cayce, the interstate goes up and down a few very long hills before reaching the outskirts of Orangeburg and I-95, to Savannah and Florence. As it enters the relatively flat plains of the Lowcountry, the area becomes urbanized as the interstate encroaches upon North Charleston and Charleston. As the interstate curves through the peninsula formed by the Ashley and Cooper rivers, it connects with I-526, to Savannah and Mount Pleasant. Near the end, it overlaps with US 17 from its new interchange (from the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge) to where the old interchange remnants and where I-26 ends (formally where the John P. Grace Memorial Bridge and Silas N. Pearman Bridge connected).

History

East I-26 in South Carolina at mile marker 79, just south of Newberry

Construction of I-26 began in 1957 in the Columbia area with the 9-mile (14 km) section from the Broad River to near Irmo.[2] The 11-mile (18 km) section of I-26 from I-126/US 76 in Columbia to US 176 at Exit 97 was the first section of the highway to open up to traffic (on September 7, 1960). The 6-mile (9.7 km) section from SC 210 to US 15 opened in September 1962.[3] Construction proceeded in stages heading both west up towards Greenville and east towards Charleston. The highway was largely completed from Columbia to North Charleston by 1964; the section from Aviation Avenue to the highway's terminus at US 17 in downtown Charleston progressed more slowly due to land takings for the right of way and numerous bridges and viaducts that had to be built. The entire 221 miles of I-26 were completed by February 1969.[2]

In the 1980s-90s, I-26 around Columbia was widened from four to six lanes. In the mid-90s, the North Charleston area was also widened from four to six lanes, part of which was further widened to eight lanes in the early 2010s. In 2005, the US 17 was realigned to a new interchange with I-26 at exit 220 from exit 221; the old interchange was mostly torn down and reconfigured, leaving the I-26 viaduct eastbound off-ramp and westbound on-ramps with US 17 south. In the mid-2010s, I-26 was widened SE of Columbia from I-77 to Old Sandy Run Rd. Starting in 2019 or 2020, a long stretch of I-26 NW of Columbia will begin widening construction from four to six lanes from SC 202 at Little Mountain to US 76/176 at Irmo.

In 2011, a plan to add a lane in each direction between Broad River Road and St. Andrews Road through "Malfunction Junction" had $8.5 million in funding but was expected to start sometime after 2012 and take two years.[4]

On October 5, 2016, I-26 had all lanes converted to westbound only, from I-77 to I-526, due to Hurricane Matthew.[5] This was done again on September 11, 2018 due to Hurricane Florence.[6]

On November 19, 2016, construction began in Charleston to demolish, reconfigure and replace exits 217 and 218, related to a new access road to the Hugh K. Leatherman Sr. Terminal; construction and reopening planned for 2019.[7]

Auxiliary routes

Interstate City Type Notes
I-126.svg Interstate 126 Columbia Spur
I-326.svg Interstate 326 Columbia Spur Unsigned designation. Decommissioned.
I-526.svg Interstate 526 Charleston Spur

Exit list

CountyLocationmi[1]kmExitDestinationsNotes
Spartanburg0.00.0 west - Hendersonville, AshevilleContinuation into North Carolina
Landrum0.91.41 east - Landrum
5.38.55 (Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway) - Campobello, Chesnee
10.016.110 - Inman
14.022.515 - Inman, Spartanburg
15.424.816John Dodd Road – Wellford
Southern Shops16.726.917New Cut Road
17.828.618 - Greenville, CharlotteSigned as exits 18A (south) and 18B (north)
18.629.919 - Greenville, SpartanburgSigned as exits 19A (south) and 19B (north)
Spartanburg21.033.821 - Greer, SpartanburgSigned as exits 21A (south) and 21B (north); to Westgate Mall
22.035.422 (Reidville Road) - Spartanburg, Reidville
Moore28.145.228 - Spartanburg, Moore, Woodruff
34.555.535Walnut Grove Road – Woodruff
38.061.238 - Cross Anchor, Woodruff
40.665.341 - Enoree, Cross Anchor
44.171.044 - Laurens, Cross Anchor, Union
LaurensClinton51.883.451 north - Laurens, GreenvilleWestbound exit and eastbound entrance
52.584.552 - Clinton, Cross Anchor
53.686.354 - Clinton, Whitmire
59.796.160 (Whitmire Highway) - Joanna, Whitmire
Newberry66.2106.566Road 32 – Jalapa
71.5115.172 - Newberry, Whitmire
Newberry74.0119.174 - Newberry, Winnsboro
76.0122.376 - Newberry, Pomaria
82.2132.382 - Prosperity, Pomaria
85.2137.185 - Pomaria, Little Mountain
LexingtonChapin91.2146.891Columbia Avenue – Chapin
Richland96.5155.397 - Ballentine, White Rock, Peak
Irmo101.4163.2101 west / (Broad River Road) - Ballentine, White RockWest end of US 76 overlap; signed as exits 101A (west) and 101B (east)
102.2164.5102 (Lake Murray Boulevard) - Lake Murray, IrmoSigned as exits 102A (west) and 102B (east)
Columbia103.4166.4103Harbison BoulevardTo Columbiana Centre
LexingtonSeven Oaks104.3167.9104Piney Grove Road
106.4171.2106St. Andrews Road
RichlandSt. Andrews107.1172.4107 - Augusta, FlorenceSigned as exits 107A (west) and 107B (east)
Columbia107.6173.2108ABush River Road
107.8173.5108B east / east - Downtown ColumbiaEast end of US 76 overlap
LexingtonWest Columbia109.7176.5110 - Lexington, West Columbia
111.3179.1111 to  - Lexington, West ColumbiaSigned as exits 111A (south) and 111B (north)
Cayce113.2182.2113 - Columbia Airport, Cayce
115.1185.2115 / /  - Gaston, Cayce
115.6186.0116 north - CharlotteSouthern terminus of I-77
119.5192.3119 /  - St. Matthews, Dixiana
Calhoun124.6200.5125Old Sandy Run Road – GastonClosed during USMC Mud Run
Lexington128.7207.1129
Calhoun136.3219.4136 - North, St. Matthews, Swansea
139.3224.2139Burke Road – St. Matthews
Orangeburg145.3233.8145 - Orangeburg, St. MatthewsSigned as exits 145A (south) and 145B (north)
148.5239.0149 - Orangeburg, CameronTo SC State University and Claflin University
154.2248.2154 - Orangeburg, SanteeSigned as exits 154A (south) and 154B (north)
159.0255.9159Homestead Road – Bowman
164.7265.1165 - Bowman, Vance
168.5271.2169 - Savannah, FlorenceSigned as exits 169A (south) and 169B (north)
Dorchester171.5276.0172 - St. George, Santee, Holly HillSigned as exits 172A (south) and 172B (north)
177.0284.9177 - Harleyville, Holly Hill
187.4301.6187 - Ridgeville, St. George
BerkeleyVolvo Car DriveUnder construction; to Volvo Cars manufacturing plant
194.4312.9194Road 16 – Jedburg, Pinopolis
Summerville197.5317.8197Nexton ParkwaySigned as exits 197A (south) and 197B (north) westbound
199.0320.3199
 - Summerville, Moncks Corner
Signed as exits 199A (south) and 199B (north)
Ladson203.2327.0203College Park Road – Ladson
CharlestonNorth Charleston205.0329.9205 to  - Goose Creek, LadsonSigned as exits 205A (west) and 205B (east); to Charleston Southern University
Future DriveProposed interchange (funded only for right of way procurement)[8]
208.1334.9209A /  - Goose Creek, Moncks CornerWestbound exit and eastbound entrance
208.6335.7209BAshley Phosphate RoadSigned as exit 209 eastbound; to Northwoods Mall
211.1339.7211AAviation Avenue – Charleston AFB
211.6340.5211BRemount Road – HanahanFormerly exit 211 before 2012; exits connected in both directions via collector-distributor lanes
212.6342.1212 - Savannah, Mount PleasantSigned as exits 212B (west) and 212C (east)
213.5343.6213Montague Avenue / Tanger Outlet Boulevard / Mall DriveSigned as exits 213A (Montague Avenue west, Tanger Outlet Boulevard) and 213B (Montague Avenue east) eastbound; eastbound exit only to Tanger Outlet Boulevard, westbound exit and entrance only to Mall Drive
215.5346.8215 (Dorchester Road)
216.3348.1216 (Cosgrove Avenue) – Federal ComplexSigned as exits 216A (south) and 216B (north)
Charleston217.5350.0217 (North Meeting Street)Closed November 19, 2016; to be reconfigured by 2019[7]
218.0350.8218Spruill Avenue – Federal ComplexClosed November 19, 2016; to be reconfigured and become Port Access Road by 2019[7]
219.0352.4219ARutledge Avenue – The CitadelEastbound exit and westbound entrance
219.3352.9219BMorrison Drive, East Bay Street (US 52 Spur)Eastbound exit and westbound entrance
220.2354.4220ARomney StreetWestbound exit only
220.3354.5220B north - Mount Pleasant, GeorgetownNorth end of US 17 overlap; signed as exit 220 eastbound
220.4354.7221A south - SavannahSouth end of US 17 overlap; eastbound exit and westbound entrance
220.4354.7221B (Meeting Street) - Charleston DowntownEastbound exit and westbound entrance
I-26 officially ends .3 miles (0.48 km) at the remnants of old exit 221
East end of I-26
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Google (July 4, 2013). "Interstate 26 in South Carolina" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved 2013.
  2. ^ a b "Economic Development History of Interstate 26 in South Carolina". Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved 2013.
  3. ^ "Another Stretch of I-26 is Open". The News and Courier. 24 September 1962. Retrieved 2013.
  4. ^ Littlefield, Susan-Elizabeth (2011). "DOT looking for suggestions to fix 'malfunction junction'". Columbia, SC: WIS. Retrieved 2016.
  5. ^ Behre, Robert (October 3, 2016). "Get out of town: I-26 lane reversal may get real test Epic traffic snarl during Hurricane Floyd led to change". The Post and Courier. Retrieved 2016.
  6. ^ Jackson, Angie (September 10, 2018). "I-26 east to close from Columbia to Charleston early Tuesday to set up for lane reversal". The Post and Courier. Retrieved 2018.
  7. ^ a b c "I-26 exit ramps to close for new port access project to begin". Charleston, SC: WCBD-TV. November 18, 2016. Retrieved 2017.
  8. ^ Knich, Diane; McDermott, John (May 30, 2013). "Airport road projects to take off County Council vote begins process for new I-26 interchange, other improvements". The Post and Courier. Retrieved 2013.

External links

Route map:

KML is from Wikidata


Interstate 26
Previous state:
North Carolina
South Carolina Next state:
Terminus

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

Interstate_26_in_South_Carolina
 



 



 
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