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SCDOT Press Releases

Jul 09
SCDOT to Soon Begin Construction on Hwy 61 Road Safety Improvements While Preserving Historic Beauty

​The South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) announced today it will begin construction in September on 14.75 miles of Highway 61 in Dorchester County to improve the road's safety and quality. SCDOT expects the construction's first phase, a scenic portion of the highway near the Charleston County line, to be completed by December 2020. Motorists can expect periodic delays and lane closures during the construction.

"Our refined design for Highway 61's improvements preserves the corridor's live oak trees that are hundreds of years old and improves citizens' safety as they drive along the scenic route," said Secretary of Transportation Christy Hall. "Based on a detailed analysis of seven years of crash data and significant input from the community, we were able to work with Governor Henry McMaster and other stakeholders to alter our plans to maintain the area's historic beauty while fulfilling our commitment to make our roads safer."

Construction will begin first on the scenic 6.5-mile portion of Highway 61 from the intersection of Highway 165 to the Charleston County line. Improvements will include a new roadbed and pavement, two 11-foot wide lanes with three-foot paved shoulders, safety rumble strips on the centerline and edge lines, higher-visibility paint and reflectors, and warning signs at curves.

Another 8.25-mile section of the highway from the Colleton County line to the intersection of US Highway 17-A will be repaved, receive new four-foot shoulders and rumble strips, and better paint and reflectors will be added. Construction for this section will begin after the first section is completed.

The project's total cost of $7.8 million includes incentives for the contractor, Banks Construction who was awarded the competitive bid, to complete construction of the first phase on time.

The improvements to Highway 61 are part of SCDOT's Rural Road Safety Program made possible by the state gas tax increase enacted in July 2017. The increase is funding the agency's 10-Year Plan to improve the quality of the state's roads and bridges after 30 years of underfunded maintenance. The plan's goals are to improve the safety of our rural roads, resurface our most traveled and aging corridors, repair or replace deteriorating bridges, and widen key portions of our interstates.

"Nearly 30 percent of fatal and serious injury crashes in South Carolina's rural areas occur on five percent of our roads, which is why our work to improve the safety of rural roads is a priority focus," said SCDOT Commissioner Robby Robbins. "The Highway 61 project shows we can accomplish our safety goals with a multifaceted approach while being sensitive to additional needs of communities."

SCDOT has already reduced the speed limit to 45 mph on Highway 61 from the Charleston County line to Highway 165, and law enforcement has increased its patrols of the corridor. These measures were implemented after a 2019 public meeting on the project's plans and 450 comments that were received from the public.

SC Highway 61 in Dorchester County. Photo includes rendering of paved shoulders that will be added with construction.

Jul 08
I-20 Eastbound SC6 and US1 Ramp Detour Notice

​The South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) announces that the I-20 Eastbound Local Lane between mile marker 54 and 60 will be closed nightly beginning Wednesday , July 8th through Friday July 10th, 2020. All traffic traveling along I-20 Eastbound will be directed into the through lane and thus will not have access to Exits 55 and 58. 

The On-Ramps at US1 and SC6 will also be closed. Motorists traveling along I-20 Eastbound wishing to utilize Exits 55 and 58 will continue along I-20 Eastbound to exit 61. At this point, they can enter I-20 Westbound and utilize exits 55 and 58. Motorists wishing to enter I-20 Eastbound at Exit 55 will be directed along the detour route along Two Notch Road, Dooley Road, Cedar Road, and Cromer Road to 378 where they can enter I-20 at Exit 61. 

Any traffic wishing to enter I-20 Eastbound from US1 will be directed along the detour route down Cedar Road and Cromer Road to 378 to utilize Exit 61 Ramps.

The I-20 Ramp closures at SC6 (Exit 55) and US1 (Exit 58) will occur:

  • From 7:00 PM Wednesday, July 8th, until 6:00 AM Thursday, July 9th
  • From 7:00 PM Thursday, July 9th, until 6:00 AM Friday, July 10th
  • From 7:00 PM Friday, July 10th, until 6:00 AM Saturday, July 11th
     

    Message board signs along US1, SC6, and I-20 will display detour directions.

    Motorists are advised to used caution and plan accordingly in case of delays.

    The road work is part of a four-phase project to widen an 11-mile stretch of I-20 in Lexington County. The project extends from mile marker 60 near US 378 to mile marker 49 at Longs Pond Road. Upon completion, the project will add a third inside lane in both directions aimed at reducing traffic congestion. It is expected to be completed in the summer of 2021

    Motorists can use SCDOT's 511 Traveler Info http://www.511sc.org/ to check road conditions. For more information concerning this project, the public may contact SCDOT Resident Engineer John Burns at (803) 530-8798 or at BurnsJM@scdot.org.


Jul 08
SCDOT LAUNCHES PUBLIC HEARING WEBSITE FOR PROPOSED WOODRUFF ROAD CONGESTION RELIEF PROJECT

SCDOT, GPATS, City of Greenville Announce Preferred Plan for Woodruff Road

 

GREENVILLE, S.C. (July 7, 2020) -- The South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) today launched a public hearing online for the Woodruff Road Congestion Relief Project. The public hearing website provides information on the preferred alternative for the Woodruff Road project and is available to receive public comment through August 7. The hearing can be accessed by visiting www.fixwoodruffroad.com

SCDOT is conducting the public hearing online instead of hosting it in person to help protect the health and safety of the public while keeping the project planning on schedule. The hearing is an important step in the project's planning process, enabling the public to make comments about the preferred alternative that's been developed to best alleviate traffic congestion along Woodruff Road. 

The hearing website provides easy access to project displays, informative videos and other materials about the project the public would normally receive at an in-person hearing, and it offers the opportunity for the public to ask questions and provide formal comment for the project record. 

"With the current congestion along Woodruff Road, further compounded by growth trends, it is important for the community that we move forward with an effective solution," said SCDOT Project Manager Casey Lucas. "This project has been ranked by local officials as their highest road project priority. The public hearing is one of the critical and last preliminary design steps, and we encourage the public to engage in this process."  

The proposed project design consists of an alternate route to Woodruff Road that extends three miles from Verdae Boulevard/Roper Mountain Road to Smith Hines Road. The new alternate roadway would include four 12-foot wide travel lanes with a raised or planted median, curb and gutter, a five-foot wide sidewalk on one side, and a 10-foot wide multiuse path on the other. It also would include two new bridge crossings at I-85 and I-385. Roundabouts are proposed at various intersections to improve traffic flow. 

Planning for the project began in 2017 and has included several periods of formal and informal public input to refine the project design. Public involvement helped the project team narrow an original set of 17 alternatives to five reasonable alternatives. The preferred alternative was then selected by comparing the estimated costs, impacts on traffic and natural resources, right-of-way needs and other factors of those five alternatives. 

The preferred alternative for the project will cost an estimated $121 million and will be paid for with Greenville-Pickens Area Transportation Study (GPATS) guideshare funding through SCDOT and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). SCDOT estimates that construction will begin in 2024. 

For those with limited access to the Internet or with special accommodations who would like to receive printed copies of the public hearing materials, please contact: 

Casey Lucas

SCDOT Project Manager

803-737-1087

 

 

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Media Contact:

Casey Lucas

SCDOT Project Manager

803-737-1087

lucasCB@scdot.org

Jul 02
SCDOT Launches Enhanced 511 Traveler Information System

The South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) has made enhancements to its 511 Traveler Information System, making it more user friendly and providing more information.

SCDOT's 511 system is an app, website and telephone system that provides real-time traffic information on all South Carolina interstate highways and some of the highways along the coast. The statewide system provides information on construction, lane closures, crashes, congestion and severe weather affecting traffic.

Users can call 511, check the app or access www.511SC.org  24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

            The new enhancements include a faster-loading map, the ability to get directions, enhanced emergency alerts, and a feature on the app that verbally notifies the driver of upcoming incidents such as a crash.

            SCDOT's 511 website receives more than a million hits per year. The SCDOT 511 app receives more than a million app sessions per year. The SCDOT 511 phone number receives approximately 140,000 calls per year.

            The SCDOT 511 Traveler Information System's new enhancements include:

  • New map that is significantly faster to load
  • Satellite map overlay
  • Layered information from the navigational app Waze
  • Inclusion of a nearby camera when navigating highway cameras
  • Rest Area markers
  • Evacuation Route markers
  • Ability to get directions
  • Enhanced emergency alerts
  • Ability to save favorite cameras and points of interest
  • A look-ahead feature that verbally notifies the driver of upcoming events such as a crash or construction (App only)

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511 relaunch screenshot 2020.JPG

Jul 01
State Gas Tax Increase is Funding More Road Projects

State Gas Tax Increase is Funding More Road Projects

Two-cent increase effective today, July 1, 2020

The state gas tax increase, including the new two-cent per gallon increase effective today, has already been put to work for South Carolinians. In addition to $1.3 billion in road and bridge work under contract now, the new gas tax increase is making possible an additional 661 miles of paving projects that were approved by the Transportation Commission in June. The new paving projects will be moving to the contracting phase in the coming months.

Since the implementation of the gas tax increase in July 2017, the new gas tax has generated $372 million in revenues.  Coupled with other increased fees and other funds redirected to the new trust fund, the total revenue deposited into the account since July 1, 2017, has been $1.2 billion.

 In turn, SCDOT has pushed out to contract more than $1.3 billion in work that includes projects in all of the state's 46 counties. SCDOT does not pay its contractors for work upfront, but instead pays them as the work is installed.  Of the $1.3 billion in construction contract commitments, $560 million has already been paid out with $740 million in work still underway across the state.

 "We encourage every citizen of the state to visit our gas tax transparency web page and view the accountability reports outlining the use of the new funding as well as the project lists by county," said Secretary of Transportation Christy Hall.   She added, "Those reports clearly demonstrate $927 million in paving projects, $153 million in rural road safety projects, $259 million in interstate widening and $17 million in bridge work all across the state."

None of the new gas tax funding has been allocated to the State Infrastructure Bank, the SC 51 project in Florence, the Mark Clark Extension Project in Charleston, I-73, or the Panthers Interchange in Rock Hill.  The funding has strictly been allocated to four Main, Strategic Priorities:  Paving Projects, Rural Road Safety Projects, Interstate Widening Projects, and a few Bridge Replacement projects (the rest are federally funded) as outlined in SCDOT's 10-Year Plan.  In addition, the vast majority of bridge replacement projects are funded with federal funds, which do not flow through the gas tax trust fund. 

SCDOT's New Gas Tax Trust Fund information can be found at:  https://www.scdot.org/inside/new-gastax-trustfund.aspx

Gas Tax.jpg

Jul 01
I-20 Eastbound SC6 and US1 Ramp Detour Notice

​The South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) announces that the I-20 Eastbound Local Lane between mile marker 54 and 60 will be closed on Wednesday night, July 1st, 2020. All traffic traveling along I-20 Eastbound will be directed into the through lane and thus will not have access to Exits 55 and 58.

The On-Ramps at US1 and SC6 will also be closed. Motorists traveling along I-20 Eastbound wishing to utilize Exits 55 and 58 will continue along I-20 Eastbound to exit 61. At this point, they can enter I-20 Westbound and utilize exits 55 and 58.4

Motorists wishing to enter I-20 Eastbound at Exit 55 will be directed along the detour route along Two Notch Road, Dooley Road, Cedar Road, and Cromer Road to 378 where they can enter I-20 at Exit 61. Any traffic wishing to enter I-20 Eastbound from US1 will be directed along the detour route down Cedar Road and Cromer Road to 378 to utilize Exit 61 Ramps.

 

The I-20 Ramp closures at SC6 (Exit 55) and US1 (Exit 58) will occur:

  • From 7:00 PM Wednesday, July 1st, until 6:00 AM Thursday, June 2nd

    Message board signs along US1, SC6, and I-20 will display detour directions.

    Motorists are advised to used caution and plan accordingly in case of delays.

    The road work is part of a four-phase project to widen an 11-mile stretch of I-20 in Lexington County. The project extends from mile marker 60 near US 378 to mile marker 49 at Longs Pond Road. Upon completion, the project will add a third inside lane in both directions aimed at reducing traffic congestion. It is expected to be completed in the summer of 2021

    Motorists can use SCDOT's 511 Traveler Info http://www.511sc.org/ to check road conditions. For more information concerning this project, the public may contact SCDOT Resident Engineer John Burns at (803) 530-8798 or at BurnsJM@scdot.org.


Jun 30
David E. "Gene" Branham Sr. Reappointed to Second Term On South Carolina Department of Transportation Commission

David E. "Gene" Branham Sr., has been reappointed to serve a second term on the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) Commission.

Branham, of Kershaw County and representing the 5th Congressional District, first joined the SCDOT Commission in 2016.

"I am very pleased to have been reappointed for a new term on the SCDOT Commission," Branham said. "The next four years are an important time for our state's transportation system as we continue to rebuild from 30 years of underfunding. I plan to work diligently as Commissioner to provide the best possible transportation system for my District and the state of South Carolina."

Branham (2).jpg

Prior to joining the Commission, Branham had more than 20 years of service as both a past chairman and a commissioner with the Kershaw County Transportation Committee. He served his country in the National Guard for 6 years and also served on the Applied Technology Education Campus Advisory Board. Branham has been a citizen of Kershaw County for more than 47 years. He is married to Gail H. Branham, and they have three adult children: David, Patricia and Adam.

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Jun 30
I-26 Project Construction Area to have 55 mph Speed Limit

​The South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) announces a 55 mph speed limit within the project area for Midlands Connection project construction. The speed limit will go into effect from Mile-Marker 85 to Mile-Marker 91 on July 7, 2020, and will last throughout construction.

SCDOT reminds the public to please use caution while driving through work zones. The speed limit will help to keep both drivers and project construction workers safe.

This project is part of SCDOT's Strategic 10-Year Plan.

For more information, the public may contact Assistant District Construction Engineer Allen Thompson at 803-737-1847.


Jun 29
I-20 Eastbound SC6 and US1 Ramp Detour Notice

The South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) announces that the I-20 Eastbound Local Lane between mile marker 54 and 60 will be closed on Monday night, June 29th, 2020. All traffic traveling along I-20 Eastbound will be directed into the through lane and thus will not have access to Exits 55 and 58. 

The On-Ramps at US1 and SC6 will also be closed. Motorists traveling along I-20 Eastbound wishing to utilize Exits 55 and 58 will continue along I-20 Eastbound to exit 61. 

At this point, they can enter I-20 Westbound and utilize exits 55 and 58. Motorists wishing to enter I-20 Eastbound at Exit 55 will be directed along the detour route along Two Notch Road, Dooley Road, Cedar Road, and Cromer Road to 378 where they can enter I-20 at Exit 61. 

Any traffic wishing to enter I-20 Eastbound from US1 will be directed along the detour route down Cedar Road and Cromer Road to 378 to utilize Exit 61 Ramps.


The I-20 Ramp closures at SC6 (Exit 55) and US1 (Exit 58) will occur:

  • From 7:00 PM Monday, June 29th, until 6:00 AM Tuesday, June 30th

    Message board signs along US1, SC6, and I-20 will display detour directions.

    Motorists are advised to used caution and plan accordingly in case of delays.

    The road work is part of a four-phase project to widen an 11-mile stretch of I-20 in Lexington County. The project extends from mile marker 60 near US 378 to mile marker 49 at Longs Pond Road. Upon completion, the project will add a third inside lane in both directions aimed at reducing traffic congestion. It is expected to be completed in the summer of 2021

    Motorists can use SCDOT's 511 Traveler Info http://www.511sc.org/ to check road conditions. For more information concerning this project, the public may contact SCDOT Resident Engineer John Burns at (803) 530-8798 or at BurnsJM@scdot.org.


Jun 29
Interstate Lane Closures Restricted to help Holiday Traffic Flow

To help holiday traffic flow, the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) prohibits lane closures on interstate highways for non-emergency highway work during the Fourth of July holiday travel period. These restrictions will be in place from 6 a.m. Thursday, July 2, through 10 p.m., Monday, July 6.

With continued progress due to SCDOT's Strategic 10-Year Plan to rebuild South Carolina's roads, more work zones are in place all across South Carolina. SCDOT reminds motorists to remain alert and use caution.

Motorists may keep up with travel conditions by using SCDOT's 511 system, which provides real-time traffic information on all South Carolina interstate highways and some of the highways along the coast. Users can call 511 or access www.511SC.org  24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and download the free app.

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