Emergency repairs to I-26 asphalt expected to start next week

Updated: May. 20, 2021 at 3:17 PM EDT
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NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Emergency asphalt repairs are coming to parts of I-26 in the Lowcountry. Staff with the South Carolina Department of Transportation said they have struggled with the type of pavement put down a few years ago and plan to use a new mix in the future.

During an SCDOT Commission meeting on Thursday morning, Secretary Christy Hall said repairs will happen between mile markers 198, just north of the Summerville exit, and 209 at the Midland Park Road overpass.

Hall said the type of pavement, open-graded friction course, has recently started to cause problems.

“The issue is that, this was something we implemented 10-15 years ago across the state. At that time it was viewed as an innovative safety measure to help push the water away from that driving surface to improve safety,” Hall explained. “Generally, it has performed very well for us but once it gets close to the end of its service life and it starts to fail, it just unravels all at one time in some of those sections and that’s the issue we’re faced with.”

The emergency repairs are expected to cost about $11 million.

Director of Communications for SCDOT Pete Poore said the contractor plans to start the initial patching work on I-26 next week in the worst areas. This will be interim work until the full resurfacing work begins in June. Crews will start repairs on the ramps and then move to the mainline.

“SCDOT is committing these funds to improve these heavily trafficked corridors and greatly improve these deteriorated sections of the interstate,” Poore added.

The work is expected to be done by the end of October.

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