Sections of I-26 amongst those receiving stimulus money
2009/03/04, 9:31 pm
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By Mike Fitts
Published March 4, 2009

Federal stimulus dollars will fuel work on Interstate 26 near the Charleston peninsula and two major interstate resurfacing projects in the Midlands.

The top project on the maintenance list is a 10-mile section of eastbound Interstate 20 stretching from Lexington into Richland County north of Columbia. Also on the list is a six-mile southbound stretch of Interstate 77 in Richland County, near the interchange with I-20.

The projects are part of the $50 million in interstate maintenance money that the S.C. Department of Transportation Commission approved in February with the intent of having the money obligated to projects in the first 120 days, though actual work is unlikely to start by then.

A total of $74 million is allocated to interstate maintenance; a separate $150 million will be spent on resurfacing of primary and secondary roads.

The interstate work mostly will also be resurfacing, according to John Walsh, the chief engineer for planning, location and design at the S.C. Department of Transportation.

For the stimulus dollars, the S.C. DOT selected projects that were high on its priority list but did not require the more complicated work sometimes involved in interstate maintenance, such as adjusting bridges or acquiring right of way.

Other interstate projects expected to be bid out in the first $50 million:

  • Portions of I-95 in both directions in Clarendon County.
  • Part of I-20 eastbound in Aiken County.
  • Sections of I-26 in Charleston County in both directions near the Charleston peninsula.

The stimulus bill will add tremendously to the state’s highway maintenance work and to the number of projects that S.C. DOT must contract out and oversee, Walsh said.

“We’re basically doubling our construction program in the same year,” he said.

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