SCDOT nixes 'Malfunction Junction' alternative that would've tak - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

SCDOT nixes 'Malfunction Junction' alternative that would've taken dozens of W. Cola homes

A proposed connector between I-126, I-26 and I-20 would have gone through several West Columbia neighborhoods. (Source: SCDOT) A proposed connector between I-126, I-26 and I-20 would have gone through several West Columbia neighborhoods. (Source: SCDOT)
WEST COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

The plan to somehow fix 'Malfunction Junction,' the corridor where several interstates come together northwest of downtown Columbia, is progressing without a proposed connector alternative that would have taken dozens of homes in West Columbia.

In October, South Carolina Department of Transportation officials held a meeting to get public input on dozens of alternatives to the area, known to planners as 'Carolina Crossroads,' including reconstructing key interchanges and widening or building additional roadways to alleviate congestion in the main corridor.

One of the alternate plans included the construction of connector routes between I-126, I-26, and I-20 that would have cut through several West Columbia neighborhoods including Quail Hollow, Gates of Quail Hollow, Quail Hollow Village, Westover Acres, and River's Edge.

In a letter to State Sen. Nikki Setzler on Monday, the state department of transportation said the East-West connector options both to the north and to the south of the Saluda River have been eliminated from future consideration. 

"We have received many comments from residents in your district as well as yourself regarding potential impacts to properties resulting from one or more of the alternatives under consideration that were presented at our public meeting," Deputy Secretary for Engineering Leland D. Colvin wrote.

Fixing the traffic issues in the corridor, which was developed in the 50s and 60s and improved in the 70s and 80s, is the number one priority for the state department of transportation. 

Colvin said the project team will hold another public meeting to discuss reasonable alternatives on Sept. 19. That information will be available on September 5 to the public online here.

Lexington County Councilmember Ned Tolar sent a "big thank you" to those who spoke against the bypass in a statement Tuesday afternoon. 

It would have been a tremendous mistake to build the Malfunction Junction bypass through these West Columbia neighborhoods, and DOT was wise to eliminate this alternative.

"DOT had always assured me that such a connector route through the West Columbia area was unlikely. Nonetheless, the residents of this area deserve tremendous credit for making their voices heard. Among the factors DOT officials considered when removing this option from consideration was the remarkable level of input they received from our community. 

So a big 'thank you' to everyone who took the time to write, attend meetings, and speak out against a connector route through these neighborhoods. Your efforts have made a difference."

Planners hope to begin construction in 2019.

Copyright 2017 WIS. All rights reserved.

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