Rain delays opening of new lanes on I-20 - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Rain delays opening of new lanes on I-20

(Source: SCDOT) (Source: SCDOT)

The state transportation department says all lanes of traffic created on Interstate 20 will open for the first time this week in northeast Richland County.

Officials say the eastbound lanes northeast of Columbia are to open Friday morning. The westbound lanes are scheduled to open Saturday morning. Officials said rain Wednesday night pushed the openings back by 24 hours.

"This is great news for motorists who use one of the busiest sections of interstate highway in the Midlands," South Carolina Secretary of Transportation Janet P. Oakley said in a news release. "Original estimates to get where we are now were up to three years, and here we are with six lanes of traffic open in less than 21 months after construction began. SCDOT would like to thank the public for its patience during this project."

Workers will continue to work on the I-20 widening project throughout the summer. Lanes will be closed at night periodically along the six-mile stretch that runs from Interstate 77 to just east of Spears Creek Church Road (Exit 82) in northeast Richland County.

The project, which began in October 2012 and was scheduled to be completed in less than 24 months from that point, consists of expanding the highway to six lanes, the installation of noise barrier walls, and widening the westbound bridge as well as replacing the eastbound bridge over Alpine Road.

Copyright 2014 WIS. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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