The last two-digit Interstate completed in the Palmetto State was Interstate 77. The freeway links the capital city of Columbia with Rock Hill and Charlotte, North Carolina to the north, paralleling U.S. 21 for much of the route.
Interstate 77 South Carolina Guides
Originally Interstate 77 concluded in the area where I-20 and South Carolina Highway 277 converge near Dentwood. Road work through the 1980s and early 1990s extended I-77 along the Southeastern Beltway to I-26 at Cayce at a cost of more than $100 million:5
- I-26 to S.C. 48 (Bluff Road) - August 1986.1
- I-20 to S.C. 12 (Percival Road) - December 15, 1987 at a cost of $5.25 million after an additional lane in each direction was added.1
- S.C. 48 (Bluff Road) to U.S. 76/378 (Garners Ferry Road) - work started in November 1986 on the $21 million, 3.3 mile phase opened in 1989.4
- U.S. 76/378 (Garners Ferry Road) to S.C. 760 (Fort Jackson Boulevard) - July 17, 19922 at a cost of $21 million for 2.6 miles of roadway.4
- S.C. 760 (Fort Jackson Boulevard) to Imboden Street (renamed Strom Thurmond Boulevard in 1995) - 1.6 mile stretch April 1993 at a cost of $8.4 million4
- Imboden Street (Strom Thurmond Boulevard) to S.C. 12 (Percival Road) - $21 million contract awarded on the 2.8 mile stretch in October 19914. A 1.5 mile stretch between Strom Thurmond Boulevard and Decker Boulevard opened on March 10, 1995.5 The Southeastern Beltway was completed with a ribbon joining ceremony on June 15, 1995.6
Until the Southeastern Beltway was completed in 1995, the stretch of freeway south of Interstate 20 was designated as S.C. 478. The 4.95 mile long portion of freeway first opened between I-26 and S.C. 48 was previously approved as Interstate 326 by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) on December 19, 1975. This designation was never signed in the field. The 9.5 mile long segment of the Southeastern Beltway from S.C. 48 (Bluff Road) to I-77 northeast of Columbia was subsequently approved as part of the Interstate System on November 22, 1983.
Action by the FHWA on March 28, 1984 specified that the I-326 section and adjacent 9.5 mile long link north be designated as Interstate 77 with the following conditions:
(1) the segment of I-77 from Bluff Road to I-20 will be added to the official I-77 description when construction is completed and (2) the I-77 route number may not be posted on the spur to Bluff Road until construction is completed.
The South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) proposed establishing Temporary Interstate 77 from the junction of I-77/S.C. 277 north of Columbia to the exchange joining I-26 with U.S. 21/176/321 southwest of Columbia until the Southeastern Beltway was completed. The designation was aimed to address motorist complaints with the confusion in connecting from I-77 to I-26 and vice versa. Temporary I-77 was approved by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) for the Southeastern Beltway on October 12, 1985. Shields were posted along S.C. 277, I-20 and I-26.
|A rural diamond interchange connects S.C. 97 (Great Falls Road) with Interstate 77 in southern Chester County. This shield assembly directs motorists from S.C. 97 north onto I-77 south to Winnsboro and Columbia. 06/01/07|
|Carowinds Boulevard connects with the northernmost interchange along Interstate 77 in South Carolina. 05/26/19|
|U.S. 21 overtakes Carowinds Boulevard south from I-77 at the signalized intersection with Foothills Way. 09/17/21|
|U.S. 21 leads south from Carowinds Boulevard and the parclo interchange at Exit 90 into Fort Mill while Interstate 77 stays westward toward Rock Hill. 09/17/21|
- "I-77 Extension Set to Open in Two Weeks Drivers Gain Access to Percival." The State (Columbia, SC), December 4, 1987.
- "A New Route Beltway Section Linking Fort, Garners Ferry to Open Friday." The State (Columbia, SC), July 16, 1992.
- "Beltway's Wrap-Up Date is June 1995 Imboden-to-I-77 Work Said to be on Schedule." The State (Columbia, SC), December 11, 1993.
- "Beltway Phase 4 Set to Open Soon Crews Applying Finishing Touches." The State (Columbia, SC), April 4, 1993.
- "Segment of Beltway Set to Open." The State (Columbia, SC), March 1, 1995.
- "A Grand Opening Beltway's Final Link Opens." The State (Columbia, SC), June 16, 1995.
06/01/07, 05/26/19, 09/17/21 by AARoads
Page Updated 12-30-2021.