RICHLAND COUNTY, SC — Construction has been under way since October 2012 on a section of I-20 north of Columbia that has seen plenty of delays and hundreds of vehicle accidents in the past two years.
As the project nears its halfway point, some traffic today will shift to two inside lanes, separated by a concrete barrier that will allow crews to work 24 hours a day.
Where is the construction?
Construction is taking place on a stretch of I-20 between I-77 and Spears Creek Road in Northeast Richland. The four-lane highway is being widened to six lanes along a nearly seven-mile stretch.
Whats going on today?
Starting today, eastbound traffic will shift to two inside lanes that will be separated by concrete barriers. The shift will allow the removal and reconstruction of existing eastbound concrete lanes and the replacement of the eastbound bridge over Alpine Road.
When is the project set to finish?
The completion date for the project has been set for May 24, 2014. It is currently on schedule for completion, according to Robbie Isgett, an engineer with the S.C. Department of Transportation.
How far along is it?
The project is 40 percent complete, Isgett said. Currently, crews are working on the widening of the interstates westbound bridge and constructing sound walls along Polo Road, near Polo Road Elementary School; near Chesterbrook Academy; and on the length of the project between Smallwood and Clemson roads to block traffic noise for residents and students.
How much is it costing?
The project will cost a total of $77.3 million, with 97 percent of funds coming from federal programs like the National Highway system. The remaining 3 percent is coming from the state.
How many accidents have there been on the road?
Between Jan. 1, 2011, and June 24, 2013, there have been 758 accidents on I-20 between I-77 and Spears Creek Road. Thats nearly half of the accidents on a third of the length of I-20 in Richland County during that time period. Richland County contains 20.43 miles of I-20, and the stretch currently under construction is 6.7 miles long.
By the numbers
To date, the work has involved ...
6,000 - square yards of cement
134,000 - square yards of graded aggregate base course (gravel, in laymans terms)
68,000 - tons of asphalt
140,000 - square yards of concrete paving
105,575 - hours worked by contractor Zachry Construction Corp.s 65 workers