After 3 years of construction, end in sight for I-26 widening pr - - Columbia, South Carolina

After 3 years of construction, end in sight for I-26 widening project

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For three years now drivers traveling along parts of Interstate 26 have encountered construction as SCDOT works to widen and repave the roadway. It extends from I-77 toward Orangeburg and was originally scheduled to be completed in September 2015. But it's not. 

Crews are widening I-26 from four lanes to six lanes from I-77 for about 10 miles east toward Charleston, and extending to Orangeburg the road will be resurfaced. More than 60,000 cars drive on this stretch of road every day, a reason SCDOT decided, to widen and resurface it.

SCDOT says despite delays, the project is moving along and is expected to be completed by late spring. Additional repairs and October's devastating flooding caused some delays.
Allen Thompson, an SCDOT engineer that’s heading the project, says there were $400,000 worth of drainage repairs that had to be done, but overall the project remains on budget.

RELATED: Proposed widening projects to dramatically transform interstate travel around Columbia

Continued rain we've seen since October's historic flood caused some problems. Crews are not able to lay asphalt when it's wet because it will not set properly. So now, SCDOT says construction crews have been trying to catch up on work they weren't able to do for months.
"Since the flood we've been placing asphalt. We have been working on the barrier wall, finishing up other elements of the project," says Thompson. "The project is approximately 90% complete. Primarily all the remains is the asphalt."

Thompson says a majority of the construction on the road surface is taking place at night and throughout the day crews are working on the shoulder in both directions. Once shoulder work is done, Thompson says all lanes will be open.
"We've been working hard on this project for three years and we're looking forward to it being complete," he says. "We're looking forward to giving it to the public so they can have all the lanes and utilize all of the lanes. We're aware of that every day and we can't wait to have all the lanes open so the public can use it."
Construction crews are waiting on the weather to get warmer so they can lay the final layers of asphalt. If the weather cooperates, Thompson says the project should be done in April or May.

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