Gas Tax Tour: A major frontage road is set to see major improvements soon

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - All this week, we are taking a look at which Midlands roads will benefit from the first dose of new gas tax funding.

The third stop of our tour takes us to Fernandina Road. There, Isaac Phillips knows precisely when Malfunction Junction is living up to its name.

"I'll see traffic on either side of 26 – Fernandina being the one frontage road side and Jamil Road being the other side – and you can definitely see and pay attention," Phillips said. "You can see the interstate right from here, and you can see people jumping off on frontage roads and traffic starts backing up on those."

Phillips knows because he works along Fernandina on a stretch between Piney Grove Road and Home Depot. It's a stretch that sees a traffic count of about 5,125 cars each day -- a stretch that SCDOT says needs attention.

"It's a little rough," Phillips said. "It's not the worst that I've seen, for sure. But it's noticeably rough. Potholes here and there. Rough spots in the road. I mean, you know when you hit them. You kind of curve a little bit to avoid them and stuff like that."

Soon, using funding from the gas tax hike, SCDOT will tear up what's there and start over from the foundation up. DOT believes Fernandina deserves that

"Anytime we have an issue with the interstate being blocked and people trying to take alternative routes, that particular road will often serve as an alternative route getting in and around the interstate area," South Carolina's Secretary of Transportation Christy Hall said.

Contractors will repaint faded lines and install rumble strips too – safety features Phillips appreciates.

"Road lines are very good," Phillips said. "When they fade and everything, people get a little free. The rumble ridges are always great. Any improvement is

Work on Fernandina should finish by the end of August next year.

By the way, stats show there have been 17 total collisions on this portion of Fernandina from 2012 to 2016. Three of those accidents resulted in injuries. A fatal accident happened in that area of Fernandina last month.

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