Interstate 26 generally stays west of Columbia, serving commuting interests from Irmo to the northwest and south Lexington County.
Interstate 26 cuts a swath from the Northwestern Piedmont region of South Carolina to the Atlantic Coastal Plain. The freeway serves Charleston at the eastern terminus, linking it with the capital city and the Greenville/Spartanburg area (in conjunction with Interstate 385) before leaving the state en route to Asheville, North Carolina and the Tri-Cities of Tennessee. The highway carries four lanes for the most part, with exceptions through the Columbia and Charleston areas.
The first stretch of Interstate 26 opened in 1960.5
The "Malfunction Junction" area of St. Andrews was slated for a massive overhaul starting in mid-1988 with right of way acquisition as part of a $80-million improvement project. Work touted two new directional ramps from Interstate 26 to Interstate 20, and a collector distributor roadway system northward from I-126 to the St. Andrews Road interchange of I-26.1 Funding for this project never matriculated and work never occurred.
23 years later, studies and designs were again undertaken to address the Interstates 20 and 26 interchange. Cost for the project were forecast at $400-million, with funding uncertain in February 2011.3
Interstate 26 was expanded to six overall lanes between U.S. 1 and 378 in Lexington County during a three-year construction project by July 1993. Work cost $12.1-million.2
Exit 102 with South Carolina 60 (Lake Murray Boulevard) was upgraded from a half-diamond interchange into a six-ramp partial-cloverleaf interchange during work between March 3, 19974 and late 1999. This work followed an expansion of I-26 from four to six lanes between Harbison Boulevard and U.S. 176 (Ballentine exit) in December 1993.
Peering northwest at Interstate 26 from the South Carolina 72 overpass at Exit 54. A second Clinton area diamond interchange lies a short distance to the north at South Carolina 56 (Exit 52). Photo taken October 15, 2001.
Interstate 26 South Carolina Highway Guides
- Interstate 26 East - Spartanburg County
- Interstate 26 East - Lauren & Newberry Counties
- Interstate 26 East - Richland & Lexington Counties
- Interstate 26 East - Calhoun & Orangeburg Counties
- Interstate 26 East - Charleston Vicinity
- Interstate 26 West - Orangeburg & Calhoun Counties
- Interstate 26 West - Lexington & Richland Counties
- Interstate 26 West - Newberry & Lauren Counties
- Interstate 26 West - Spartanburg County
- Interstate 26 East - Archive
- Interstate 26 West - Archive
|Interstate 26 scenes|
|An Interstate 26 trailblazer directs drivers along Commerce Drive as it merges with the off-ramp from I-26 west within the Exit 113 diamond interchange. Photo taken 08/05/00.|
|St. Andrews Road west at the loop ramp onto Interstate 26 east outside Columbia. I-26 proceeds south directly to "Malfunction Junction" with Interstate 20. Photos taken 06/01/07.|
|Eastbound South Carolina 72 at its diamond interchange with Interstate 26 outside Clinton. The westbound ramp sees two control cities due to the nearby split of I-26 west with Interstate 385 north to Greenville. Photo taken 10/15/01.|
- "MAJOR CHANGES FOR 'JUNCTION' PLANNED." The State (Columbia, SC), December 11, 1987.
- "I-26 ROADWORK WINDING DOWN - CONSTRUCTION SHOULD BE DONE BY JULY 4." The State (Columbia, SC), June 7, 1993.
- "Malfunction Junction gets initial go-ahead - I-26, I-20." The State (Columbia, SC), February 18, 2011.
- "WORK ON INTERCHANGE MAY BE TRAFFIC-STOPPER." The State (Columbia, SC), February 27, 1997.
- "CAROLINA CENTURY: 1960-1979 INTERSTATE SYSTEM WAS BOON FOR SOME IN S.C., BUT NOT ALL." The State (Columbia, SC), December 21, 1999.
1999-12-08, 2000-08-05, 2001-10-15, 2007-06-01 by AARoads
Page Updated 04-11-2016.