Interstate 26 in South Carolina

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Interstate 26 marker

Interstate 26
Route information
Maintained by SCDOT
Length: 220.7 mi[1] (355.2 km)
Existed: 1960 – present
Major junctions
West end: I‑26 at the NC line near Landrum
  I-85 near Spartanburg
I-385 in Clinton
I-20 near Columbia
I-126 in Columbia
I-77 in Cayce
I-95 near Holly Hill
I-526 in North Charleston
East end: US 17 in Charleston
Location
Counties: Spartanburg, Laurens, Newberry, Richland, Lexington, Calhoun, Orangeburg, Dorchester, Berkeley, Charleston
Highway system

Interstate 26 (I-26) is a South Carolina Interstate highway running generally east–west from near Landrum, in Spartanburg County, to U.S. Route 17, in Charleston, South Carolina. It is also the longest interstate highway in South Carolina.

Route description[edit]

I-26 runs 220 miles through South Carolina. Mile markers run from west (north) to east (south). Mile Marker 0 is in the mountains at the NC state line. The last exit, at US 17 south of Charleston, is exit 221.

I-26 runs between the Broad and Saluda Rivers, descending from the mountains to the piedmont or midlands. At Columbia, I-126 crosses the confluence of the Broad and Saluda, which together form the Congaree, near the Columbia Canal and water treatment plant. I-26 continues following the Congaree, until it hops south over into the Cooper and Ashley Drainage, then down to the coast.

I-26 is predominantly a four-lane rural interstate with 70-mile-per-hour (110 km/h) speed limits. In the Columbia and Charleston areas, the interstate widens to six-lanes, but speeds are lower.

I-26 enters South Carolina just northeast of Landrum, traveling a southeasterly direction. The first major city along its route is Spartanburg, where it intersects I-85 to Greenville and Charlotte. As the interstate weaves along the terrain, it reaches Clinton; where westbound travelers can connect with I-385 towards Greenville. Traveling through the Sumter National Forest, it connects with Newberry before entering the Midlands. At Columbia in a section known as "Malfunction Junction", it connects with I-20, to Augusta and Florence, and I-126 towards the downtown area; it then goes south over the Saluda River and into Lexington County for the second of eventually four times along its course. At Cayce, it connects with I-77 to Charlotte. South of Cayce, the interstate goes up and down a few very long hills before reaching the outskirts of Orangeburg and I-95, to Savannah and Florence. As it enters the relatively flat plains of the Lowcountry, the area becomes urbanized as the interstate encroaches upon North Charleston and Charleston. As the interstate curves through the peninsula formed by the Ashley and Cooper rivers, it connects with I-526, to Savannah and Mount Pleasant. Near the end, it overlaps with US 17 from its new interchange (from the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge) to where the old interchange remnants and where I-26 ends (formally where the John P. Grace Memorial Bridge and Silas N. Pearman Bridge connected).

History[edit]

East I-26 in South Carolina at mile marker 79, just south of Newberry

Construction of I-26 began in 1957 in the Columbia area with the 9-mile (14 km) section from the Broad River to near Irmo.[2] The 11-mile (18 km) section of I-26 from I-126/US 76 in Columbia to US 176 at Exit 97 was the first section of the highway to open up to traffic (on September 7, 1960). The 6-mile (9.7 km) section from SC 210 to US 15 opened in September 1962.[3] Construction proceeded in stages heading both west up towards Greenville and east towards Charleston. The highway was largely completed from Columbia to North Charleston by 1964; the section from Aviation Avenue to the highway's terminus at US 17 in downtown Charleston progressed more slowly due to land takings for the right of way and numerous bridges and viaducts that had to be built. The entire 221 miles of I-26 were completed by February 1969.[2]

In the 1980s-90s, I-26 around Columbia was widened from four to six lanes. In the mid-90s, the North Charleston area was also widened from four to six lanes. In 2005, the US 17 was realigned to a new interchange with I-26 at exit 220 from exit 221; the old interchange was mostly torn down and reconfigured, leaving the I-26 viaduct eastbound off-ramp and westbound on-ramps with US 17 south.

In 2011, a plan to add a lane in each direction between Broad River Road and St. Andrews Road through "Malfunction Junction" had $8.5 million in funding but was expected to start sometime after 2012 and take two years.[4]

On October 5, 2016, I-26 had all lanes converted to westbound only, from I-77 to I-526, due to Hurricane Matthew.[5] On November 19, 2016, construction began in Charleston to demolish, reconfigure and replace exits 217 and 218, related to a new access road to the Hugh K. Leatherman Sr. Terminal; construction and reopening planned for 2019.[6]

Auxiliary routes in South Carolina[edit]

Interstate City Type Notes
I-126.svg Interstate 126 Columbia Spur
I-326.svg Interstate 326 Columbia Spur Unsigned designation. Decommissioned.
I-526.svg Interstate 526 Charleston Spur

Exit list[edit]

County Location mi[1] km Exit Destinations Notes
Spartanburg 0.0 0.0 I‑26 west – Hendersonville, Asheville Continuation into North Carolina
Landrum 0.9 1.4 1 SC 14 east – Landrum
5.3 8.5 5 SC 11 (Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway) – Campobello, Chesnee
10.0 16.1 10 SC 292 – Inman
14.0 22.5 15 US 176 – Inman, Spartanburg
15.4 24.8 16 John Dodd Road – Wellford
Southern Shops 16.7 26.9 17 New Cut Road
17.8 28.6 18 I-85 – Greenville, Charlotte Signed as exits 18A (south) and 18B (north)
18.6 29.9 19 I-85 Bus. – Greenville, Spartanburg Signed as exits 19A (south) and 19B (north)
Spartanburg 21.0 33.8 21 US 29 – Greer, Spartanburg Signed as exits 21A (south) and 21B (north); to Westgate Mall
22.0 35.4 22 SC 296 (Reidville Road) – Spartanburg, Reidville
Moore 28.1 45.2 28 US 221 – Spartanburg, Moore, Woodruff
34.5 55.5 35 Walnut Grove Road – Woodruff
38.0 61.2 38 SC 146 – Cross Anchor, Woodruff
40.6 65.3 41 SC 92 – Enoree, Cross Anchor
44.1 71.0 44 SC 49 – Laurens, Cross Anchor, Union
Laurens Clinton 51.8 83.4 51 I-385 north – Laurens, Greenville Westbound exit and eastbound entrance
52.5 84.5 52 SC 56 – Clinton, Cross Anchor
53.6 86.3 54 SC 72 – Clinton, Whitmire
59.7 96.1 60 SC 66 (Whitmire Highway) – Joanna, Whitmire
Newberry 66.2 106.5 66 Road 32 – Jalapa
71.5 115.1 72 SC 121 – Newberry, Whitmire
Newberry 74.0 119.1 74 SC 34 – Newberry, Winnsboro
76.0 122.3 76 SC 219 – Newberry, Pomaria
82.2 132.3 82 SC 773 – Prosperity, Pomaria
85.2 137.1 85 SC 202 – Pomaria, Little Mountain
Lexington Chapin 91.2 146.8 91 Columbia Avenue – Chapin
Richland 96.5 155.3 97 US 176 – Ballentine, White Rock, Peak
Irmo 101.4 163.2 101 US 76 west / US 176 (Broad River Road) – Ballentine, White Rock West end of US 76 overlap; signed as exits 101A (west) and 101B (east)
102.2 164.5 102 SC 60 (Lake Murray Boulevard) – Lake Murray, Irmo Signed as exits 102A (west) and 102B (east)
Columbia 103.4 166.4 103 Harbison Boulevard To Columbiana Centre
Lexington Seven Oaks 104.3 167.9 104 Piney Grove Road
106.4 171.2 106 St. Andrews Road
Richland St. Andrews 107.1 172.4 107 I-20 – Augusta, Florence Signed as exits 107A (west) and 107B (east)
Columbia 107.6 173.2 108A Bush River Road
107.8 173.5 108B I-126 east / US 76 east – Downtown Columbia East end of US 76 overlap
Lexington West Columbia 109.7 176.5 110 US 378 – Lexington, West Columbia
111.3 179.1 111 US 1 to SC 12 – Lexington, West Columbia Signed as exits 111A (south) and 111B (north)
Cayce 113.2 182.2 113 SC 302 – Columbia Airport, Cayce
115.1 185.2 115 US 21 / US 176 / US 321 – Gaston, Cayce
115.6 186.0 116 I-77 north – Charlotte
119.5 192.3 119 US 21 / US 176 – St. Matthews, Dixiana
Calhoun 124.6 200.5 125 Old Sandy Run Road – Gaston Closed during USMC Mud Run
Lexington 128.7 207.1 129 US 21
Calhoun 136.3 219.4 136 SC 6 – North, St. Matthews, Swansea
139.3 224.2 139 Burke Road – St. Matthews
Orangeburg 145.3 233.8 145 US 601 – Orangeburg, St. Matthews Signed as exits 145A (south) and 145B (north)
148.5 239.0 149 SC 33 – Orangeburg, Cameron To SC State University and Claflin University
154.2 248.2 154 US 301 – Orangeburg, Santee Signed as exits 154A (south) and 154B (north)
159.0 255.9 159 Homestead Road – Bowman
164.7 265.1 165 SC 210 – Bowman, Vance
168.5 271.2 169 I-95 – Savannah, Florence Signed as exits 169A (south) and 169B (north)
Dorchester 171.5 276.0 172 US 15 – St. George, Santee, Holly Hill Signed as exits 172A (south) and 172B (north)
177.0 284.9 177 SC 453 – Harleyville, Holly Hill
187.4 301.6 187 SC 27 – Ridgeville, St. George
Berkeley 194.4 312.9 194 Road 16 – Jedburg, Pinopolis
Summerville 197.5 317.8 197 Nexton Parkway – Summerville, Cane Bay Under Construction, to be completed in 2018 [7]
199.0 320.3 199
US 17 Alt. – Summerville, Moncks Corner
Signed as exits 199A (south) and 199B (north)
Ladson 203.2 327.0 203 College Park Road – Ladson
Charleston North Charleston 205.0 329.9 205 US 78 to US 52 – Goose Creek, Ladson Signed as exits 205A (west) and 205B (east); to Charleston Southern University
Future Drive Proposed interchange (funded only for right of way procurement)[8]
208.1 334.9 209A US 52 / US 78 – Goose Creek, Moncks Corner Westbound exit and eastbound entrance
208.6 335.7 209B Ashley Phosphate Road Signed as exit 209 eastbound; to Northwoods Mall
211.1 339.7 211A Aviation Avenue – Charleston AFB
211.6 340.5 211B Remount Road – Hanahan Formerly exit 211 before 2012
212.6 342.1 212 I-526 – Savannah, Mount Pleasant Signed as exits 212B (west) and 212C (east)
213.5 343.6 213 Montague Avenue / Tanger Outlet Boulevard / Mall Drive Signed as exits 213A (west) and 213B (east) eastbound
215.5 346.8 215 SC 642 (Dorchester Road)
216.3 348.1 216 SC 7 (Cosgrove Avenue) – Federal Complex Signed as exits 216A (south) and 216B (north)
Charleston 217.5 350.0 217 US 52 (North Meeting Street) Closed November 19, 2016; to be reconfigured by 2019[6]
218.0 350.8 218 Spruill Avenue – Federal Complex Closed November 19, 2016; to be reconfigured and become Port Access Road by 2019[6]
219.0 352.4 219A Rutledge Avenue – The Citadel Eastbound exit and westbound entrance
219.3 352.9 219B Morrison Drive, East Bay Street (US 52 Spur) Eastbound exit and westbound entrance
220.2 354.4 220A Romney Street Westbound exit only
220.3 354.5 220B US 17 north – Mount Pleasant, Georgetown North end of US 17 overlap; signed as exit 220 eastbound
220.4 354.7 221A US 17 south – Savannah South end of US 17 overlap; eastbound exit and westbound entrance
220.4 354.7 221B US 52 (Meeting Street) – Charleston Downtown Eastbound exit and westbound entrance
I-26 officially ends .3 miles (0.48 km) at the remnants of old exit 221
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Google (July 4, 2013). "Interstate 26 in South Carolina" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved July 4, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Economic Development History of Interstate 26 in South Carolina". Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved 7 March 2013. 
  3. ^ "Another Stretch of I-26 is Open". The News and Courier. 24 September 1962. Retrieved 7 March 2013. 
  4. ^ Littlefield, Susan-Elizabeth (2011). "DOT looking for suggestions to fix 'malfunction junction'". Columbia, SC: WIS. Retrieved July 13, 2016. 
  5. ^ Behre, Robert (October 3, 2016). "Get out of town: I-26 lane reversal may get real test Epic traffic snarl during Hurricane Floyd led to change". The Post and Courier. Retrieved October 5, 2016. 
  6. ^ a b c "I-26 exit ramps to close for new port access project to begin". Charleston, SC: WCBD-TV. November 18, 2016. Retrieved March 27, 2017. 
  7. ^ Taylor, Annie (March 21, 2016). "Groundbreaking for new I-26 interchange in Berkeley County". Charleston, SC: WCBD-TV. Retrieved February 16, 2017. 
  8. ^ Knich, Diane; McDermott, John (May 30, 2013). "Airport road projects to take off County Council vote begins process for new I-26 interchange, other improvements". The Post and Courier. Retrieved May 31, 2013. 

External links[edit]

Route map: Bing / Google

KML is from Wikidata


Interstate 26
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