Federal funds helping I-95 widening project in Jasper County

Published: Sep. 22, 2022 at 4:22 PM EDT
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JASPER COUNTY, S.C. (WTOC) - Road projects across South Carolina are getting some extra support thanks to millions of dollars in federal funding.

“It was a positive perfect storm if you will,” South Carolina Department of Transportation Communications Director, Pete Poore said.

SCDOT knew they’d have ARPA money to spend, but recently another opportunity for federal funds came up.

The department said it’s called “after August money” and essentially, it’s a pot of unused infrastructure funds put together from around the country that there are specific qualifications to get.

“There’s two caveats, one you have to have spent or obligated all of your own federal allotment and you have to be ready to demonstrate how you would use that money,” Poore said.

The Palmetto State’s DOT did both, receiving $190 million in federal dollars along with a 20 percent match from the state. In our area those funds will go toward the widening of Interstate 95 through Jasper County.

“This is a $600 million project that we’ve gotten approved. Construction will start next year and that will actually start at the Georgia state line and head north through exit 8 on phase 1,” Jasper County councilman, Marty Sauls said.

The highway will be widened to three lanes each way, progress this Jasper County councilman has been pushing for for a decade.

“It’ll cut drive times for the trucking industry and shipments. We have the Savannah port right at our back door, we have the Charleston port an hour north so you’re going to see a release of stress and traffic flow,” Sauls said.

That release is closer now thanks to these funds. SCDOT says the I-95 widening can now be accelerated six years, to finish around 2034 instead of being started then.

Obviously, this will be a long process to completion, but one we’ll keep track of it and keep you updated with any important information.