A two-year project to widen 7 miles of Interstate 77 north of Columbia will start Monday.
The work will be done between the I-20 and Percival Road interchanges and extend to Blythewood Road. The goals are to improve safety, rebuild and resurface the aging interstate and its bridges and reduce traffic congestion, according to the South Carolina Department of Transportation.
The widening includes the only two-lane stretch of I-77 in the Columbia area, between the S.C. 277 exit and the Interstate 20 interchange.
The project includes expanding about a dozen bridges and resurfacing a crumbling 5-mile stretch of the freeway north of the widening.
The DOT said construction on the $88 million project is scheduled to last through July 2018.
The DOT says both lanes of I-77 should stay open during the day to minimize delays. The majority of work in this area will be done at night. Drivers traveling through the construction zone are asked to be aware of equipment and crews working close to traffic at all times.
The long-planned work is being done with state money, not money from Richland County’s transportation penny sales tax revenue.
Motorists can use SCDOT’s 511 Traveler system: http://www.511sc.org/, go on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SC-I-77-Widening-Project-977708125661555/ or on Twitter: @77_widening, for updates to help make travel decisions.