Board approves Midlands interstate projects, planning money for - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Board approves Midlands interstate projects, planning money for Malfunction Junction

Posted: Updated:
Traffic backs up near the I-20/I-26 interchange. (Source: SCDOT) Traffic backs up near the I-20/I-26 interchange. (Source: SCDOT)

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A panel that borrows money for road construction in South Carolina has approved plans to spend $194 million on two interstate widening projects in the Midlands and another $10 million to begin planning the long overdue overhaul of Malfunction Junction.

The South Carolina Transportation Infrastructure Bank Board agreed Tuesday to borrow money for work on Interstates 20 and 77 in the Midlands and I-85 and I-385 in the Upstate.

More than $150 million would be used to widen 10 miles of I-20 in Lexington County from U.S. 378 to Longs Pond Road.

Nearly $40 million would be used to widen just under three miles of I-77 from I-20 to SC 277 in Richland County.

The board also approved $10 million for preliminary engineering of the I-20/I-26 interchange project commonly known as Malfunction Junction. The overhaul is the #1 project on the state's Interstate improvement priority list, but remains unfunded.

SCTIB Chairman Don Leonard noted that preliminary engineering requires up to two years to complete before construction can begin. He recommended that the board approve the design funding to accelerate the project to "shovel ready" status when funding becomes available.

Other state projects include spending $260 million to widening 16 miles of I-85 in Cherokee and Spartanburg counties and $80 million to redo the interchange of Interstates 385 and 85 in Greenville County.

"This list of projects will accelerate much-needed infrastructure improvements for our highway system that will provide the opportunity for enhanced economic development and safer roads for all who travel our interstates," said Leonard.

Leonard is scheduled to present the approved list to the Legislative Joint Bond Review Committee for final approval on December 4, 2013.

Copyright 2013 WIS. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Powered by WorldNow