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McMaster to use federal funds to speed I-26 widening from Columbia to Charleston

Published: Sep. 2, 2021 at 9:42 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 2, 2021 at 12:37 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said Thursday he intends to use millions in federal funds to widen a portion of I-26 between Charleston and Columbia.

“We in South Carolina have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” McMaster said at a news conference Thursday morning. “We must seize this moment to set our state on a strong cause for generations of prosperity and success.”

McMaster said he will propose using over $360 million from the American Rescue Plan to speed up the widening of the interstate.

“This one-time investment, this transformative investment will allow the department to accelerate that widening by six years,” McMaster said. “To have this project on I-26, which is critical to our future success and prosperity, to be moved up by six years gives us a six-year advantage that we would not ordinarily have.”

Transportation Secretary Christy Hall said widening I-26 is a “high priority” for the agency.

Hall said the original plan for I-26, which involved widening two 15-mile stretches of the interstate, would have involved going to contract with the last segment in 2029 or 2030.

“With this one-time funding boost, we will accelerate this project forward by at least six years to get us going,” Hall said. “So instead of starting the project within the next 10 years, we are anticipating being able to complete the project within the next 10 years.”

Hall said the first seven miles the state has planned to go to contract will be from Jedburg Road to SC 27 across Berkeley and Dorchester Counties.

And again that’s poised and ready to go to construction next year.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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