Interstate 126

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Interstate 126 marker

Interstate 126
Lester Bates Freeway
I-126 highlighted in red
Route information
Auxiliary route of I-26
Maintained by SCDOT
Length3.68 mi[1][2] (5.92 km)
Major junctions
West end I-26 / US 76 in Columbia
East end US 21 / US 76 / US 176 / US 321 in Downtown Columbia
Highway system
SC 125SC 126

Interstate 126 (I-126) is a spur route of I-26, almost entirely within the city limits of Columbia in the U.S. state of South Carolina.

Route description[edit]

Traversing a total of 3.68 miles (5.92 km), it starts at exit 108 along I-26, it has exits with I-20 (westbound only, signed "Exit 107" as it leads to the I-26 interchange), Colonial Life Boulevard (westbound only) and Greystone Boulevard (to Riverbanks Zoo), before crossing the Broad River on the Timmerman Bridge. Past the bridge is a final interchange with US 21/US 176/US 321 (Huger Street). Entering downtown Columbia, it merges briefly with US 21/US 176/US 321, at Huger Street, before ending at Gadsden Street. It is named the Lester Bates Freeway and is co-signed with US 76 for the entire route.


Construction started on I-126 in 1959 and it was completed in 1961 as a four-lane freeway spur of I-26 which opened at the same time. Around 1980, it was widened to six lanes to from I-26 to Greystone Boulevard and eight lanes from there to Huger Street. By the 1990s, a lane was added eastbound from Colonial Life Boulevard to Greystone Boulevard and westbound from Greystone Boulevard to a new I-20 exit just before its western terminus. The eastern terminus of I-126 has fluctuated between Huger Street and Gadsden Street.[3]

Exit list[edit]

All exits are unnumbered. The entire route is in Columbia, Richland County.

0.00.0 I-26 / US 76 west – Charleston, SpartanburgWestern terminus; western end of US 76 concurrency; I-26 exit 108
0.81.3Colonial Life Boulevard to Bush River RoadWestbound exit and eastbound entrance
1.93.1Greystone Boulevard – Riverbanks Zoo
3.45.5 US 21 south / US 176 east / US 321 south (Huger Street)Western end of US 21/US 176/US 321 concurrency
3.76.0 US 21 north / US 76 east / US 176 west / US 321 north / Gadsden StreetEastern terminus; eastern end of US 21/US 176/US 321 and US 76 concurrencies
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

Interstate 126 Business[edit]

Interstate 126 Business
LocationColumbia, South Carolina
Length0.90 mi[4] (1.4 km)

Interstate 126 Business (I-126 Bus) was a boulevard-grade business spur of I-126 along Elmwood Avenue, between Huger Street and Bull Street; in concurrence with US 21/US 76/US 176/US 321. The route was never marked on state, county or city highway maps. Signage proliferated along the westbound route in the late 1970s from Bull Street to Assembly Street,[5] but by 2000 only one sign remained and this was gone by the mid 2000s. At some point[when?], I-126 absorbed part of the business spur from Huger Street to Gadsden Street. It is considered decommissioned as no current state/federal maps list it, nor does any physical signage exist.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Route Log and Finder List - Interstate System: Table 2". FHWA. Retrieved October 3, 2007.
  2. ^ a b Google (May 19, 2013). "Interstate 126" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved May 19, 2013.
  3. ^ General Highway Map, York County, South Carolina (PDF) (Map). Cartography by SCDOT. South Carolina Department of Transportation. 1963. Retrieved May 19, 2013.
  4. ^ Google (May 19, 2013). "Business Spur 126" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved May 19, 2013.
  5. ^ These signs were added with a major signage overhaul on Elmwood Avenue around 1978 when US 21/US 176/US 321 were moved from Assembly Street to Huger Street, SC 215 was removed form the route and SC 48 was extended up Assembly Street to Elmwood Avenue

External links[edit]

Route map:

KML is from Wikidata