Skip to main content

I-73 takes another big step forward in South Carolina

Yesterday, two major developments in I-73's eventual construction occurred in South Carolina.

First, SCDOT narrowed the studied alternatives to the highway. Basically it is down to two possibilities. One follows and uses most of US 501 from Marion to SC 22. The highway would use part of the US 301 Marion Bypass, jump on to a new alignment, return to US 301 north of Galivants Ferry around SC 41 and then the road leaves US 501 to bypass Galivants Ferry and Aynor. South of Anyor the road uses US 501 until SC 22 and then follows the Conway Bypass to its end.

The Second is a new path alignment that runs north of the US 501 Option. It runs closer to Mullins (bypassing the town to the south) and reaches SC 22 near the SC 319 interchange.

There are crossovers between the two main alternatives, so a hybrid of both options may be the final routing. What is also intersting is that both options cross I-95 north of SC 38, which is the current consensus for the north segment of the highway.

To see the corridors in detail go here:

The next big chunk of news is that the Toll consideration for the highway is pushing forward. The bills introduced have been fast tracked and will bypass going to committee. A vote could be early as NEXT WEEK.

Although the bills do not mention the amount of a toll or where the booths would be placed - that would be up to the DOT - there are some more details given. Tolls would be reduced for local residents perhaps by way of a pass system.

Thoughts:

First on the new alignmnet alternatives: As the picture gets clearer on where I-73 may go, some predictions can be made. The state knows that using the existing US 501 corridor with upgrades will be cheaper to build. So look for US 501 on all or parts of the route. The key is the influence of Mullins, which really wants the highway to be near it. Also, how close of an impact will Anyor want I-73 to have. I do think that the state will pick the northern alterntive to Mullins and use the crossover to US 501 near SC 41 and follow US 501 down to SC 22.

As for the tolls, nothing has been said about some concerns about wanting to create a SC turnpike Authority vs. just slapping tolls on the road through SCDOT. The political debate and the eventual vote will be the determining factor on that.

Comments

Thanks for keeping us all up-to-date on the I-73 saga.

Popular posts from this blog

Horace Wilkinson Bridge (Baton Rouge, LA)

Standing tall across from downtown Baton Rouge, the Horace Wilkinson Bridge carries Interstate 10 across the lower Mississippi River between West Baton Rouge and East Baton Rouge Parishes. Unusually, the bridge is actually named for three separate people; three generations of Horace Wilkinsons who served in the Louisiana State Legislature over a combined period of 54 years. Constructed in the 1960s and opened to traffic in 1968, this is one of the largest steel bridges on the lower Mississippi. It’s also the tallest bridge across the Mississippi, with its roadway reaching 175 ft at the center span. Baton Rouge is the northernmost city on the river where deep-water, ocean-going vessels can operate. As a result, this bridge is the northernmost bridge on the river of truly gigantic proportions. Altogether, the bridge is nearly 2 ½ miles long and its massive truss superstructure is 4,550 ft long with a center main truss span of 1,235 ft. The Horace Wilkinson Bridge is one of the largest

Sunshine Bridge (Donaldsonville, LA)

Located about halfway between Baton Rouge and New Orleans in southern Louisiana, the Sunshine Bridge spans the lower Mississippi River near the city of Donaldsonville as part of the longer Louisiana Highway 70 corridor, which connects Interstate 10 and Airline Highway (US 61) with US 90 in Morgan City. In the years following World War II, the only bridges across the lower Mississippi River in Louisiana were located in the area of the state’s two largest cities – Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Postwar agricultural and industrial development along the river in this region led to the planning of a series of infrastructure projects in southern Louisiana that were aimed at spurring this development and modernization of the Delta region. One of these projects was known as the Acadian Thruway and was developed in the 1950s as a toll road intended to connect greater New Orleans with Lafayette and points west while providing a high-speed bypass of the Baton Rouge metro area. The Thruway, which

Natchez-Vidalia Bridge (Natchez, MS)

  Located about halfway between Baton Rouge and Vicksburg near the city of Natchez, the Natchez-Vidalia Bridge crosses the lower Mississippi River between southwest Mississippi and northeastern Louisiana at the city of Vidalia. This river crossing is a dual span, which creates an interesting visual effect that is atypical on the Mississippi River in general. Construction on the original bridge took place in the late 1930s in conjunction with a much larger parallel effort by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to strengthen the area’s flood protection and levee system along the Mississippi River. One of the more ambitious aspects of this plan was to relocate the city of Vidalia to a location of higher ground about one mile downriver from the original settlement. The redirection of the river through the Natchez Gorge (which necessitated the relocation of the town) and the reconstruction of the river’s levee system in the area were undertaken in the aftermath of the Great Flood of 1927, wh