The I-20/26/126 corridor is a complex interstate system made up of 19 bridges, 12 interchanges, and 14 miles of interstate. More than 130,000 vehicles travel this system every day. SCDOT and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) are facilitators of the process that will evaluate and narrow all available alternatives to solve the transportation problems in the corridor today.
The process to review alternatives is an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) which is a document required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to promote informed decision-making by federal, state and local agencies by making "detailed information concerning significant environmental impacts" available to both agency leaders and the public. Through the EIS process, NEPA encourages communication and cooperation between those who are involved in project-related decision making, including government officials, private businesses, and the public.
The NEPA process began in July 2015.
- A community kickoff meeting was held on May 12, 2015 to introduce the project and the project team.
- On September 10, 2015, a public input meeting was held to provide updated information on the project, process, and schedule. At this time, the public was also informed about the purpose and need of the project.
- On October 4, 2016, an alternatives input meeting was held to get input on 49 design options at each of the 12 different interchanges along the system. The public also asked that a northern alignment and improvements to the existing roadway network be evaluated.
After receiving public input on all of these options, SCDOT has been working to connect the best interchange solutions to develop Reasonable Alternatives that will be evaluated in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS). Reasonable Alternatives will be developed by connecting the best interchange designs that have the most improvement to traffic in the entire system. Interchange alternatives will be advanced or dismissed for a variety of reasons including cost, social and economic impacts, and environmental concerns. Some interchanges may not need improvement at all.
Reasonable Alternatives have not yet been completed. The Reasonable Alternatives will be presented to the public in September 2017 and will feature more details.