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SCDOT releases 5-phase plan for Carolina Crossroads project

Staff Report //October 29, 2019//

SCDOT releases 5-phase plan for Carolina Crossroads project

Staff Report //October 29, 2019//

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The S.C. Department of Transportation has divided its massive Carolina Crossroads improvement project in Columbia into five phases in an effort to receive more contractor bids.

The project will widen and reconfigure interstates 20, 26 and 126 where they converge in a congested area known to local commuters as Malfunction Junction. It will begin with phase one work on Colonial Life Boulevard at the I-126 interchange, according to a news release from SCDOT. Phase two includes Broad River Road at the I-20 interchange.

Phase three addresses interchanges at I-20 and I-26 and at I-26 and I-126, including the St. Andrews Road at I-26 and Bush River Road at I-20 interchanges. Phase four includes construction on Harbison Boulevard at the I-26 interchange and the relocation of Frontage Road, while phase five will widen I-26 west of St. Andrews Road.

Carolina Crossroads, the ambitious project reconfiguring Malfunction Junction, has been divided into five phases. (Photo/File)SCDOT will begin the procurement process for contractors on phases one and two in spring and summer of 2020, with construction expected to begin in 2021.

Originally, SCDOT presented Carolina Crossroads as a single project and received one contractor proposal, which may have not been priced competitively, according to the release. By breaking the project down into phases, SCDOT anticipates it will receive more competitive offers.

The project will widen lanes and build better-designed ramps, exits and overpasses to improve traffic flow along 14 miles of interstate. SCDOT has been gathering public input and providing community information on the project since 2015, and work is expected to take eight to 10 years to complete.

Right-of-way agents are contacting property owners regarding acquisition of property needed for the project. That process is expected to continue through 2022.

“When complete, this critical project will improve local mobility, improve safety and system linkages in the corridor, reduce traffic congestion and accommodate future traffic needs,” S.C. Secretary of Transportation Christy Hall said in the release.