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The South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) proposes to make improvements to the Exit 119 interchange along Interstate 26 (I-26) at US 21/US 176 that will correct geometric deficiencies and support increased traffic anticipated for the interchange. The project may involve reconfiguration of the existing partial cloverleaf interchanges and its adjacent frontage road connections. The interchange is located in Lexington County; however, the project limits extend into Calhoun County.
Project Purpose The purpose of the project is to upgrade existing geometric deficiencies to current design criteria and policies of SCDOT.
Project Need The COATS MPO identified Exit 119 from I-26 onto US 21 as its priority-need interchange. Upgrades to the existing interchange are needed to eliminate the following deficiencies:
Unconventional and Confusing Geometry:
Currently, travelers moving onto and from the westbound ramps are required to perform multiple turns through U-turn, stop-, and yield-controlled intersections rather than the free-flowing conditions onto and off the interstate that are typically associated with interstate ramps.
The tight curves of the existing loops on the clover-leaf ramps are not adequate for, nor compatible with, the current interstate speed of 70 miles per hour.
There are sight distance limitations caused by physical structures such as the bridge’s parapet and guardrail, as well as by trees at the interchange.
The current (2016) average daily traffic (ADT) on I-26 is 59,900 vehicles per day (vpd). The current ADT on US 21 is 5,300 vpd.
Design year (2040) ADT volumes are projected to be 103,000 vpd on I-26 and 15,000 vpd on US 21.
Without improvement, the off-ramp intersections and some adjacent intersections will operate at an overall level of service (LOS) F in 2040. The projected traffic from the planned extension of 12th Street from Old Wire Road to US 21 is included in these 2040 design year traffic volumes.
These are the three Interchange Concepts for the proposed project:
This is the handout from the September 26th Public Meeting: