I-95 widening project will begin in South Carolina

Published: Sep. 1, 2023 at 6:29 PM EDT
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JASPER COUNTY, S.C. (WTOC) - If you or a loved one is traveling north on I-95 into South Carolina, it’s almost a guarantee you’ll have delays as the highway bottlenecks from the Peach State to the Palmetto State. But there is hope on the horizon.

The widening project for I-95 is now set to begin in four months. The checklist is now complete that includes environmental mitigation, permitting, bidding, and the most importantly the estimated $600 million it’s going to take to complete this phase of the project. This phase includes widening the federal highway from Georgia to Exit 8.

South Carolina State Senator Tom Davis, from Beaufort, has a message to local and out of town drivers.

“There’s going to be some slowdowns and so, I think patience is the watch word here, and I think patience is a lot easier to come by when people know that there are plans on the books and money in the bank,” State Sen. Davis said. “That I-95 is going to be widened, it is going to be improved, it is going to be something that we’re proud here in South Carolina for once.”

Something Donald Stiver who’s been driving 95 since the 70s is excited about as well.

“I just can’t believe it; I said this is the best news I’ve heard in traveling experiences in a long time. Great. Great news,” said Stiver, who is from Florida.

The Department of Transportation prioritized the movement of freight through rural South Carolina. Drivers say an extra lane would make them feel more comfortable with increased tractor trailers.

“They definitely need to make the roads bigger because the trucks try to come into the lane without being so careful, it’s very dangerous,” said Lissette Turzrosa, from New York.

A long checklist prior to actual widening is complete and State Sen. Davis says he knows there’s going to be growing pains, he’s in contact with the feds about alleviating some of them.

“I talked to Secretary Hall, the DOT Secretary, and she’s going to try and do a lot of the work at night, so doesn’t impact a lot of the travelers, but it’s going to take a couple of years,” State Sen. Davis said.

Hopefully locals and passersby will keep the joy that Mr. Stiver feels through those rebuilding years.

“Great. Great news,” Stiver said.

The next phase of widening would be from Exit 8 to Walterboro. Eventually I-95 will be three lanes all the way to North Carolina.