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VIDEO: SCDOT to Replace, Rehab Three Bridges On Interstate 20 Over Wateree River

Thu June 01, 2023 - Southeast Edition #12

The South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) announced May 30 that it will replace one bridge and rehabilitate two other bridges on Interstate 20 over the Wateree River in Kershaw County.

The road structures northeast of Columbia are approaching the end of their service life and, through a project that will combine bridge rehab and new construction, SCDOT will ensure this stretch of freeway will remain operational and continue serving as an essential connection for commercial traffic and travel.

The project will include replacing a single existing bridge, as well as rehabilitating two other spans, and improving the roadway approaches on I-20. The project design phase will begin later this year, SCDOT noted, and it is expected to advance to construction in 2024.

The state agency has been working on hundreds of aging bridges in South Carolina since 2018 as a part of SCDOT's strategic plan to improve the state's transportation infrastructure.

"As many of the bridges across our state reach their end of service life, SCDOT is working to rehabilitate and replace them before it becomes an emergency," said state Secretary of Transportation Christy A. Hall. "Ensuring that our bridge network is well prepared to support the increasing motor vehicle traffic, [as well as the] commercial traffic connecting South Carolina to the global economy, will continue to be a priority for SCDOT."

Carolina Crossroads Hits Milestone Ahead of Schedule

Motorists traveling along I-20 westbound from Broad River Road in Columbia may notice a new exit lane for traffic leading toward I-26 westbound, SCDOT said May 26. The new lane provides an added 1,500 ft. for vehicles to travel through the interchange and helps decrease traffic congestion for drivers continuing west on I-20.

The opening of the new lane marks a milestone for Phase 2 of the state's much-discussed Carolina Crossroads construction.

Archer-United Joint Venture (AUJV), the team leading the work on the first two of five planned project phases, committed to opening the auxiliary lane within 560 days after receiving the official Notice to Proceed (NTP). The team did it with two weeks to spare as the lane officially opened to traffic on May 16.

Brian Klauk, SCDOT's project manager of Carolina Crossroads, noted that the new lane will help streamline the flow of traffic during peak hours.

"We understand the frustration that can come with congested roadways and with long-term construction projects," he said. "Our goal from the start was to implement a phased construction approach that would allow the traveling public to enjoy incremental improvements throughout the duration of the project. The early opening of the I-20 auxiliary lane exemplifies the positive impact that this strategy can have on drivers."

The second phase of construction on the Carolina Crossroads project began last year and is expected to reach significant completion in early 2025.

The effort is part of SCDOT's 10-Year Plan, established in July 2017 when the South Carolina gas tax increase was enacted. The transportation agency's plan is designed to address improvements to the state's highway and bridge systems.

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