Interstate 95 travles through eastern South Carolina's Low Country between the Savannah River and the North Carolina state line near Dillon. The majority of traffic along the 199-mile freeway just passes through the Palmetto State between Florida and the Northeastern United States. Additionally I-95 generally stays in rural areas, though it bypasses the outskirts of Florence to the north and west.

Interstate 95 Highway Guides

Overall Interstate 95 carries just four lanes of travel in South Carolina with the exception of a 10-mile six-lane section at Florence. The widened portion was completed in April 2004 after two years of work for $68 million. Expansion was fueled by an increase in traffic due to area growth and tourist traffic headed to Myrtle Beach.1

1975 South Carolina Official Highway Map - The final stretch of Interstate 95 opened in the Palmetto State was the portion through Dorchester and Orangeburg Counties on February 16, 1976.3

As part of a pilot program offered by the federal government in 2012, North Carolina and Virginia joined Missouri to fill three available slots to toll existing free Interstate highways. The Virginia and North Carolina plans involved the implementation of tolls along Interstate 95 south of Fredericksburg and state wide in the Tar Heel State. The North Carolina plan would help fund $4 billion in road improvements along their 182 mile stretch of I-95, including expansion of 50 miles of freeway to eight lanes. The Virginia tolling was expected to generate $50 million a year to help pay for widening, safety improvements and repairs. Because the freeway in the Palmetto State favors out of state traffic, South Carolina officials also suggested tolling Interstate 95 to help pay for both the modernization and expansion of the original freeway.2 With tolls never implemented in the neighboring states, the idea never gained traction in South Carolina.

State officials indicated on January 23, 2017 that widening the remaining 190 miles of I-95 in South Carolina would cost upwards of $4 billion. Work would likely be broken into phases and include replacing bridges and modifying interchanges as well. The project needs to rank high enough on the SCDOT priority list in order to gain funding.4

Construction at the wye (Exit 97) taking U.S. 15 & 301 south away from Interstate 95 at Santee expanded the exchange into six-ramp parclo interchange with a new access road (S.C. 6 Connector) leading east to S.C. 6. The $41 million design-build project is expected to help boost economic development for the Global Logistics Triangle, an area bound by I-26, I-95 and U.S. 301. A ground-breaking ceremony for the upgrade took place in October 2014, and work was scheduled for completion by October 18, 2015. Floods pushed the project back to November 2016.5 Traffic began using the interchange in February 2017, and S.C. 6 Connector east opened in April 2017. Finishing work wrapped up September 2017.5

Finished in October 2018, safety improvement work along 33 miles of Interstate 95 in Jasper County cleared trees, flattened some slopes and added cable barriers or guard rails. Budgeted for $9.8 million, tree clearing removed all vegetation within medians less than 160 feet in width. Wider medians were cut back to provide at least a 55 foot wide clear zone on either side. Also providing a 55 foot clear zone, trees were cut back adjacent to the outside shoulders. The vegetation removal is designed to reduce tree-related crashes.7


Interstate 95 scenes
Southward view from within the interchange between I-95 and U.S. 17 at Exit 33. The southbound loop ramp includes a fork to old U.S. 17 (Frontage Road) leading southwest along side the freeway to Ridgeland (Exit 22). Photo taken 01/18/04.
Looking north from the trumpet interchange where U.S. 17 south merges onto Interstate 95 south near Pocotaligo. I-95 curves northward by the railroad siding of Kress to enter Hampton County. Photo taken 01/18/04.
The exchange joining S.C. 327 (Williston Road) north and Interstate 95 formerly was a parclo A2 interchange with a loop ramp toward Fayetteville, North Carolina. Modifications to the exit converted it to a parclo interchange with a new right side ramp to I-95 north. Photo taken 04/21/01.
Replaced shield assembly that was posted along South Carolina 34 east at the northbound on-ramp to I-95 outside Dillon. Photo taken 12/15/01.

Sources:

  1. "I-95 Project Finished, Easing Drive to MB." The Sun News (Myrtle Beach, SC) April 24, 2004.
  2. "Drivers on I-95 might have to pay to travel." The Sun News (Myrtle Beach, SC) February 12, 2012.
  3. "Interstate 95 Turns 25 Years Old," Bluffton Today (SC) (Published as Carolina Morning News (GA)), February 19, 2001.
  4. "Widening SC's I-95 would cost $4 billion, road agency estimates." The State (Columbia, SC), January 23, 2017.
  5. "November new target date for completing I-95/301 interchange." The Times and Democrat (Orangeburg, SC), June 1, 2016.
  6. "Traffic using interchange; I-95, U.S. 301 accessible; work on connector to be done in April." The Times and Democrat (Orangeburg, SC), February 21, 2017.
  7. "99 acres of deadly trees along I-95 will soon vanish. But fatal crashes, lawsuits continue." The Island Packet (Bluffton, SC), August 25, 2018.


Photo Credits:

  • 04/21/01 by AARoads.
  • 12/15/01 by AARoads.
  • 01/18/04 by AARoads and Carter Buchanan.

Connect with:
Interstate 20
Interstate 26

Page Updated 12-18-2018.