Improving I-26 from Little Mountain to Irmo
What is the Midlands Connection project?
The Midlands Connection Project will improve a 16-mile segment of the Interstate 26 roadway system that stretches from Exit 85 in Little Mountain to Exit 101 in Irmo. The Midlands Connection Project will widen the I-26 roadway, modify three interchanges, and replace seven overpass bridges along the Interstate 26 travel corridor.
The primary purpose of this project is to provide more capacity and allow vehicles using this section of I-26 to travel more freely with less congestion when the project is completed and into the future. This project has been designed with the South Carolina Department of Transportation’s highest priority in mind. Safety and enhancing safety is our number one job.
Why Midlands Connection?
Increased Roadway Capacity
As the population continues to increase in this area of the Midlands, so do the daily traffic volumes. The project will reduce congestion and enhance operations to accommodate future traffic volumes. The design was based on the expected traffic volume for 2040.
Enhanced Public Safety
High traffic volumes and roadway congestion on the interstate, interchanges and overpass bridges increase collision risks. The Midlands Connection project design enhances safety by updating infrastructure and decreasing congestion.
The Midlands Connection project will improve the infrastructure design of three interchanges and seven overpass bridges based on current state and federal design standards. These modifications will be made throughout the project corridor to enhance traveler experience and improve driver mobility.
The Midlands Connection Project will include roadway widening, overpass bridge replacement, interchange improvements, weigh station enhancements, and traffic noise barriers.
The project will include two sections of roadway widening. It will widen approximately twelve miles of I-26 from four lanes to six lanes from just west of Exit 85 to just west of Exit 97. The project will also widen approximately four miles of I-26 from four lanes to eight lanes from Exit 97 to Exit 101.
Overpass Bridge Replacement
The project will replace seven overpass bridges in the project study area along the Interstate 26 travel corridor. The seven overpass bridges that will be replaced are located at: Parr Road; Holy Trinity Church Road; Peak Street; Old Hilton Road; Mt. Vernon Church Road; Shady Grove Road; and Koon Road. The overpass bridge replacements will be updated based on current state and federal design standards and will improve driver mobility and safety.
The Midlands Connection Project will modify three interchanges along Interstate 26 at Exit 85, Exit 91, and Exit 97. Interchange improvements will be updated based on current state and federal design standards and will reduce congestion, improve mobility and enhance driver safety.
Weigh Station Enhancements
The truck weigh station located near mile marker 94 will also be improved. This weigh station will become a weigh-in-motion station that will be able to more efficiently measure a vehicle’s weight as it drives over a measuring site.
During the environmental analysis, a detailed traffic noise analysis was conducted along the project corridor and adjacent areas. This noise analysis indicated that it would be feasible and reasonable to construct two noise reducing barriers. Two noise barriers will be constructed near the Westcott Ridge neighborhood and the Arbor Springs neighborhood to help reduce highway traffic noise.
Project Development Schedule
- Conducted Environmental Studies and Preliminary Design
- First Public Information Meetings
- Developed Project Alternatives
- Second Public Information Meetings
- Completed Environmental Assessment
- Selected Project Preferred Alternatives
- Public Hearing
- Design Build Team received Notice to Proceed
- Begin Construction Phase
- Construction Substantial Completion (all lanes open to traffic)
- Final Project Completion