Drive to 219

I-20/26/126 Corridor Project

Located in the heart of South Carolina, the Carolina Crossroads I-20/26/126 Project is the number one interstate priority for South Carolina. SCDOT is driving toward a 2019 destination when a contractor will take this project to construction. Your participation at this stage is critical. It’s your road. Drive the conversation.

See the Alternatives

About

Project Description

The South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT), in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), is preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The EIS will promote informed decision making in the development of a transportation solution(s) to improve mobility and enhance traffic operations by reducing existing traffic congestion within the I-20/26/126 corridor, while accommodating future traffic needs (through the year 2040). The EIS will consider potential community and environmental impacts to identify a solution that will benefit the greater Columbia area, as well as the regional mobility of commerce, travelers, and commuters between the Upstate and Lowcountry.

The Carolina Crossroads I-20/26/126 Corridor Project is intended to:

Improve local mobility

Enhance traffic operations by reducing existing traffic congestion, while accommodating future traffic needs

The Carolina Crossroads I-20/26/126 Corridor Project will also:

Improve freight mobility

Improve safety in the corridor

Improve system linkages

STUDY CORRIDOR
KEY INTERCHANGE

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Key Project Milestones
Project Initiation Community Kick-off Meeting Scoping & Initial Environmental StudiesNotice of Intent Public Scoping Meeting Alternatives Development Begin Development of Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) Alternatives Public Information Meeting We are hereDevelopment of Reasonable Alternatives Reasonable Alternatives Public Information Meeting Public Hearing on DEIS and Recommended Preferred Alternative Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS)Record of Decision (ROD) Procurement of Contractor & Begin Right of Way Acquisition Project Delivery/Construction
March 2015 May 12, 2015 July 2015 September 10, 2015 2015-2016 July 2016 October 4, 2016 October 2016 - Summer 2017We are here Summer 2017 Fall 2017 Summer 2018 2019 2019 & beyond

Why Carolina Crossroads?

 
1

Outdated infrastructure

Located in the heart of South Carolina, the I-20, I-26 and I-126 interstate corridor is the crossroads of the state economy and serves as the major hub for the Midlands' commuters, travelers and commerce. In addition to being a main route in and out of Columbia, I-26 is a thoroughfare for travelers headed to the coast and mountains for recreation and a major cargo route between Lowcountry ports and Upstate manufacturers. As an interstate corridor initially developed in the 1950s and 1960s and improved during the 1970s and 1980s, I-20, I-26 and I-126 does not meet current vehicular traffic demands. Finding an up-to-date solution is the number one statewide interstate priority.

Why Carolina Crossroads?

2

Growth in Population and Employment

Population and Employment growth tends show that South Carolina as a whole is growing, as is the Columbia metropolitan area. Many areas within the Carolina Crossroads corridor have experienced rapid growth since the development of I-26 and subsequent development of I-20 and I-126.

Why Carolina Crossroads?

3

Increase in Roadway Congestion

Travel demand models show that most segments within the I-26 corridor operate near or over capacity during the AM and PM peak travel periods. By 2040, the congestion on these roads is expected to increase, and the projected increase in traffic is likely to exacerbate this congestion issue.

Why Carolina Crossroads?

4

Significant crash rates

The location, frequency and severity of crashes is valuable information in assessing the safety of an interstate. There were a total of 2,370 accidents reported along I-26 from January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2014 in the corridor. These crashes occur most often during the AM and PM peak hours and in the early afternoon.

Why Carolina Crossroads?

5

Lack of Pedestrian and Bicycle Infrastructure

Currently there are no continuous north-south or east-west pedestrian/bicycle facilities through the study area, but there is popular support for expanding bicycle and pedestrian facilities near the project area.

6

Lack of Transit Infrastructure and Access

Public and mass transit options are a growing interest in the Midlands region. Currently, fixed bus route service routes do not travel directly within the I-20/26/126 corridor, but they do parallel and/or cross it via major arterials such as Broad River Road and Piney Grove Road.

WHAT IS SCDOT'S PROJECT DEVELOPMENT PROCESS

 

About NEPA

An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), 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.

Potential environmental impacts will be evaluated for numerous resources, including the following:
  • Communities and Businesses
  • Threatened and endangered species
  • Wetlands and water quality
  • Air quality
  • Historic and cultural sites
  • Noise environs
There are several phases in the EIS process:
  • Scoping / Study Initiation Phase
  • Alternatives Development Phase we are here
  • Draft EIS Phase
  • Final EIS Phase
  • Record of Decision

WHAT ARE THE NEXT STEPS?

Get Involved!

As a part of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process, the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT), in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), continues to engage the community to help complete a rigorous environmental analysis and preliminary engineering effort that reflects the region’s vision of interstate travel in the corridor. Finding an up-to-date solution is the number one statewide interstate priority. Stay involved with this project. It’s your road. Drive the conversation.

What’s Next:

It’s your road. Drive the conversation.
Our next public meeting will be in the summer of 2017. We are thankful to those who submitted comments at the Alternatives Public Information Meeting and will be working with the project team to review and address your suggestions and/or concerns. More details will be announced, as they are available.

Comments may also be emailed to info@CarolinaCrossroadsSCDOT.com, recorded via the Project Hotline number at 800-601-8715, or mailed to:

Carolina Crossroads Corridor Project
C/O South Carolina Department of Transportation
Midlands Regional Production Group, Room 418
PO Box 191
Columbia, SC 29202-0191

Please join the project mailing list to be notified of public involvement activities related to the EIS.

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News & Updates

News stories related to the Carolina Crossroads I-20/26/126 Corridor Project:

Project Resources

Visit often to get information associated with the Carolina Crossroads I-20/26/126 Corridor Project. New information will be added as it becomes available.

Public Meeting Archives:

Public Input Meeting: September 10, 2015 Boards Handout Presentation Online Meeting
Community Kickoff Meeting: May 12, 2015 Boards Handout Presentation Online Meeting
Alternatives Public Information Meeting: October 4, 2016 Boards Handout Presentation Online Meeting

FAQs

The following questions are the most frequently asked about the Carolina Crossroads I-20/26/126 Corridor Project. This list will be updated from time to time as the project progresses to include new questions that come up. If you do not see an answer to your question, please Contact Us.

1

What alternatives have you selected?

No preferred alternative has been selected at this point in the process. A number of Reasonable Alternatives will be presented to the public for input in September 2017.

In an effort to identify a solution that will benefit the I-20/26/126 corridor, SCDOT looked at the range of alternatives developed throughout 2015-2016. The range of alternatives were developed based on public input and past studies and included various transit and roadway options.

To target the most complex areas of the system, SCDOT has evaluated and presented 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 evaluate the best interchange solutions to develop Reasonable Alternatives that will be evaluated in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS).

Several modes of transportation including transit were considered in developing the preliminary alternatives. While mass transit provides some relief to traffic, it does not solve the issues in the corridor today as a standalone solution. For more information, view the project’s Purpose and Need Report on our website at http://www.scdotcarolinacrossroads.com/#project-resources.

To review alternatives, visit www.SCDOTCarolinaCrossroads.com/alternatives.

2

Are you going to impact my home or business?

Impacts to homes or businesses will not be fully determined until a Preferred Alternative has been selected. A number of Reasonable Alternatives will be presented to the public for input in September 2017. After receiving public input on all of these alternatives, Reasonable Alternatives will be evaluated in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS). A public hearing on the DEIS is anticipated for fall 2017/winter 2018 and a Preferred Alternative will be presented.

Right-of-way (ROW) acquisition is not anticipated to begin until 2019. At that time, should ROW be required, SCDOT will work with affected property owners based on third-party property valuations and according to the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970 http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/real_estate/uniform_act/). Fair market value is the estimated value of a property based on what a reasonable person would pay in a voluntary transaction. Also, our online brochure, Highways and You, can help answer questions about the process if property acquisition is needed (http://www.scdot.org/doing/technicalPDFs/rightOfWay/HighwaysandYou.pdf).

In extraordinary cases or emergency situations, SCDOT may request and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) may authorize the acquisition of a particular property or a limited number of properties within the proposed highway corridor prior to completion of processing the final EIS. These requests will be handled on a case by case basis.

3

Who is making the decision about the alternatives?

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.

Answer
4

How are alternatives evaluated?

Reasonable alternatives will be evaluated on a variety of criteria, including cost, social and economic impacts, and environmental considerations. The key factors to consider are how each potential alternative improves local mobility, enhances traffic operations, and accommodates future traffic needs. Alternatives will be advanced or dismissed for a variety of reasons including cost, social and economic impacts, and environmental concerns.

SCDOT and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) will review all comments received during the NEPA process. SCDOT will host a public information meeting to present the reasonable alternatives in September 2017. A public hearing on the DEIS is anticipated for fall 2017/winter 2018, and a Final EIS and Record of Decision (ROD) on the Recommended Preferred Alternative issued in 2018.

Answer
5

Will access to my home or business be impacted?

The Preliminary Alternatives provided at this stage do not determine if access to individual homes or business will be impacted. As the study moves forward, alternatives will be evaluated and retained or eliminated based on their benefit to traffic congestion, weighted against their impacts to the human and natural environment. More detailed information will be available as the study progresses.

Answer
6

What federal, state, and local agencies are you working with?

SCDOT, in coordination with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), is working collaboratively with other agencies on the development of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). It is critical to work with agency partners to fuse the environmental and planning processes and to merge the FHWA, NEPA, and related project development procedures with other federal, state, and local requirements. The process continues to actively involve partners and affected parties in an open, cooperative, and collaborative process, beginning at the planning stages and continuing through project development, construction, and operations.

Answer
7

What is the cost of the project?

As the #1 statewide interstate priority, SCDOT plans to fund this project for construction using a blended funding approach that combines a Federal-Aid Interstate Program, as well as leveraging new revenue streams approved by the Legislature in 2016. On June 8, 2016, Governor Nikki Haley signed Act 275 of 2016 which will provide essential funding to roadway and bridge projects throughout the state, including funding to deliver the Carolina Crossroads I-20/26/126 Corridor Project. The project is expected to cost between $1.3 and $1.5 billion. The project budget was estimated using a detailed cost and schedule risk assessment. As alternatives are developed and analyzed, the project team will develop cost estimates, funding strategies, and timelines for completion.

Answer
8

Are you going to impact wetlands or waterways?

An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) 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 EIS will include water quality analyses and consultations with the federal, state and/or local agencies responsible for water quality. SCDOT will identify streams and water bodies which may be impacted by the project and will identify mitigation measures to minimize potential direct impacts to water quality. The EIS will also consider the potential effects of nonpoint source pollution, such as roadway runoff, to water quality and will describe impact avoidance, minimization and mitigation measures, as applicable.

Answer
9

What will you do to reduce the noise from the roadway to my home or business?

Construction of noise walls (barriers) or other abatement measures are based on feasibility and reasonableness. “Feasibility” is determined by acoustic, physical, and/or engineering constraints. “Reasonableness” is based on noise reduction, cost effectiveness, and viewpoints of benefited residents and/or owners.

To learn more about SCDOT’s process in evaluating noise on a project like the Carolina Crossroads I-20/26/126 Corridor Project, watch our video at http://www.scdotcarolinacrossroads.com/#project-resources and select the SCDOT – Noise video under the Videos section.

The Carolina Crossroads I-20/26/126 Corridor Project team has implemented a Noise Advisory Board made up of community representatives in the project corridor. The role of the Noise Advisory Board is to provide a better understanding of the noise evaluation process, a two-way communication loop between the community and project team, and to review outcomes of the noise analysis process.

Answer
?

Submit a question

Contact Us

Comments may also be emailed to info@CarolinaCrossroadsSCDOT.com, recorded via the Project Hotline number at 1-800-601-8715, or mailed to the address listed below. It’s your road. Drive the conversation.

Carolina Crossroads Corridor Project
C/O South Carolina Department of Transportation
Midlands Regional Production Group, Room 418
PO Box 191
Columbia, SC 29202-0191

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info@CarolinaCrossroadsSCDOT.com