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Interstate 95 in South Carolina

Interstate 95 (I-95) is a major Interstate Highway, running along the East Coast of the United States from Florida to Maine. In South Carolina, I-95 runs approximately parallel to the Atlantic Ocean shore although about 50 miles (80 km) inland, from Hardeeville in the south to Dillon in the northeast. The route runs through the major cities of Florence and Walterboro.

Interstate 95 marker

Interstate 95
Route information
Maintained by SCDOT
Length 198.8 mi[1] (319.9 km)
Existed 1968 – present
Major junctions
South end I-95 at the Georgia line near Hardeeville
 
North end I-95 at the North Carolina line near Rowland, NC
Location
Counties Jasper, Hampton, Colleton, Dorchester, Orangeburg, Clarendon, Sumter, Florence, Darlington, Marlboro, Dillon
Highway system
SC 93SC 97

Contents

Route descriptionEdit

 
The southern gateway to I-95 in South Carolina

For the most part, the 198-mile (319 km) drive is fairly benign, passing through the pine forests, farmlands, and blackwater streams and swamps of the Coastal Plain. As the route travels north, it moves inland from coastal cities such as Hardeeville, and inland to cities such as Darlington. However, a few landmarks do exist to break up the monotony. Crossing from the south from Georgia just over the Savannah River bridge, motorists are greeted to an elaborate gateway into the state of South Carolina. The Juanita M. White Crosswalk also exists between exits 18 and 21.[2] A flyover on twin high-spans over Lake Marion provides an unexpected scenic break in the center of the highway's length. The old US 15-301 bridge runs along the west side of I-95 and is used for recreational purposes. Moving further north and out of the Palmetto State, the NC state line is prominently marked by the South Of The Border amusement complex at the US 301/501 exit. Local traffic parallel to the interstate uses US 301 from South Of The Border to Santee, US 15 from Santee to Walterboro, and a combination of US 17 and US 17 Alt from Walterboro to the Georgia state line north of Savannah. In addition, Interstate 95 shares a number of concurrencies, or multiplexes, with three of these U.S. Routes at various stretches in South Carolina.


ServicesEdit

 
A welcome sign at the Jasper County Welcome Center

The South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) operates and maintains three welcome centers and five rest areas along I-95. Welcome centers, which have a travel information facility on site, are located at mile markers 4 (northbound), 99 (southbound) and 195 (southbound); rest areas are located at mile markers 47 (north and southbound), 99 (northbound) and 139 (north and southbound). Common at all locations are public restrooms, public telephones, vending machines, picnic area and barbecue grills.[3]

The South Carolina Department of Public Safety (SCDPS) and State Transport Police (STP) operate and maintain one truck inspection/weigh station, located northbound at mile marker 74. The location utilizes weigh-in-motion that does not require commercial motor vehicles to leave the freeway to be weighed. An inspection shed and pit are also on site, where full-service inspections are performed for flagged and randomly picked trucks.[4]

Several parking area locations are also found along I-95; these were either formally rest areas or weigh stations that were converted. The parking areas offer no amenities and some are even restricted for commercial motor vehicles only.

Dedicated and memorial namesEdit

Interstate 95 in South Carolina feature numerous dedicated or memorialized bridges, interchanges and stretches of freeway.

  • Blue Star Memorial Highway – Official South Carolina honorary name of Interstate 95 throughout the state. Markers are located at both welcome centers.[5]
  • Jacob Ham, Jr. Highway – Is a dedicated 2-mile (3.2 km) portion of Interstate 95 located in Darlington County, north of Florence. Dedicated in October, 2013, it is in honor of Lance Corporal Jacob Ham, Jr., who served as a trooper with the South Carolina Highway Patrol for 12 years until his death in 1998.[6][7][8]
  • Mark H. Coates Highway – Is a dedicated 1-mile (1.6 km) portion of Interstate 95 located in Jasper County near Hardeeville and extends one-half mile on both sides of mile marker 7. In May 1997, the South Carolina General Assembly passed a resolution to designate this section of Interstate 95 in honor of Lance Corporal Mark Hunter Coates, who served as a trooper with the South Carolina Highway Patrol from 1987 until his death in 1992.[9] Coates, who was a native of Lexington County, South Carolina was fatally shot on mile marker 7 on November 20, 1992 during the course of a traffic stop.[10][11]

HistoryEdit

 
I-95 bridge-causeway over Lake Marion at Santee; the old (bypassed road) bridge-causeway is used as fishing pier.

Interstate 95 first appeared on state maps between 1962-1964, with construction from US 17 north of Hardeeville to Ridgeland. By 1967, more sections were under construction, including Pocotaligo to Walterboro and Santee to the North Carolina state line. The first section to officially open happened in 1968, from SC 527, near Gable, to SC 9/SC 57, in Dillon.

In 1971-1972, more sections of Interstate 95 was completed: Going north from SC 9/SC 57, in Dillon, to the North Carolina state line. Going south from SC 527, near Gable, along the recently completed 1968-built Lake Marion bridge, to US 301 Connector, in Santee (exit 97).[12] Also part of US 17 between Ridgeland (exit 22) to near Yemassee (exit 33) was combined with Interstate 95, with temporary status through Coosawhatchie; Interstate 95 then continued on new freeway north to SC 63, in Walterboro.

By 1975, Interstate 95 was open continuously from US 17, in Hardeeville, to SC 63, in Walterboro; temporary exits were removed around Coosawhatchie. In 1976, the two sections of Interstate 95 were connected, from SC 63, in Walterboro, to US 301 Connector, in Santee (exit 97). In same year, exit numbers were added along Interstate 95. The last section of Interstate 95 was completed in 1978, connecting US 17, in Hardeeville, south to the Georgia state line.

In 1990, exit 21 was added, for what was then US 278, now SC 336. Between 1998-2000, exit 153, Honda Way, was added. In 2003, Interstate 95 was widened to six lanes from just south of Interstate 20 to north of SC 327, around Florence.[13]

FutureEdit

Various small projects along the route are scheduled to fix various intersections and replace bridges along route, but no major projects scheduled. Discussions of possibly converting Interstate 95 into a toll road have met with resistance, especially within SCDOT; however if both North Carolina and Georgia changed Interstate 95 into a toll road, then they would consider it as well.[14]

Local leaders in Hardeeville are pushing for a new exit 3, at Purrysburg Road, for a proposed RiverPort Business Park. Project is currently still in the planning stage with no time frame or official confirmation from SCDOT at this time.[15][16]

Proposed business loopEdit

 

Interstate 95 Business
Location Walterboro
Length 5.7 mi[17] (9.2 km)

Additionally, community planners in Walterboro have been hinting at the desire for an I-95 business loop between Exits 53 and 57, along SC 63, US ALT 17, US 15, and SC 64.[18][19]

Exit listEdit

CountyLocationmi[1]kmExitDestinationsNotes
Savannah River0.00.0Savannah River Bridge / Georgia state line
  I-95 south – Savannah
JasperHardeeville5.18.25   US 17 / US 321 – Hardeeville, Estill, Savannah
8.213.28  US 278 – Beaufort, Hilton Head Island, Bluffton, Parris Island
18.029.018Bees Creek Road – Switzerland
Ridgeland20.833.521  SC 336 – Ridgeland
22.436.022  US 17 south – RidgelandSouth end of US 17 overlap
28.345.528  SC 462 – Coosawhatchie
Point South33.053.133  US 17 north – Charleston, Beaufort, Port RoyalNorth end of US 17 overlap
HamptonYemassee38.261.538  SC 68 – Yemassee, Hampton, Varnville
Colleton42.468.242  US 21 – Yemassee, Orangeburg
Walterboro53.686.353  
   SC 63 to US 17 Alt. – Walterboro
To Tuskegee Airmen Monument
57.592.557  SC 64 – Walterboro, Lodge
62.6100.762Road 34
68.4110.168  SC 61 – Canadays, Branchville
DorchesterEdisto River68.8110.7Edisto River Bridge
St. George76.7123.477  US 78 – St. George, Branchville
82.3132.482  US 178 – Harleyville, Bowman
Orangeburg85.8138.186  I-26 – Charleston, ColumbiaSigned as exits 86A (east) and 86B (west); cloverleaf interchange
90.5145.690  US 176 – Holly Hill, Cameron
93.0149.793  US 15 – Holly Hill
96.9155.997   US 15 south / US 301 south – OrangeburgSouth end of US 15 and US 301 overlap
Santee98.3158.298  SC 6 – Eutawville, Santee, ElloreeTo Santee State Park
ClarendonLake Marion99.8160.6Santee River / Lake Marion Bridge
102.0164.2102   US 15 north / US 301 north / Road 400 – North SanteeNorth end of US 15 and US 301 overlap
Summerton108.2174.1108Road 102 – Summerton
114.7184.6115  US 301 – Manning, Summerton
119.0191.5119  SC 261 (Paxville Highway) – Manning, Paxville
122.1196.5122  US 521 – Sumter, Manning, Alcolu
132.4213.1132  SC 527 – Sardinia, Bishopville, Kingstree
Sumter135.5218.1135  US 378 – Turbeville, Sumter, Lake CityTo Myrtle Beach VIA Conway
141.1227.1141   SC 53 / SC 58 – ShilohTo Woods Bay State Natural Area
145.9234.8146  SC 341 – Lake City, Lynchburg, Olanta
Florence149.9241.2150  SC 403 – Sardis, Timmonsville
153.7247.4153Honda Way – Timmonsville
Florence157.5253.5157  US 76 (West Palmetto Street) – Florence, Timmonsville
160.7258.6160   I-20 west / I-20 Bus. east (David McLeod Boulevard) – Florence, ColumbiaSigned as exits 160A (east) and 160B (west); I-20/I-20 Bus. exits 141A-B
164.4264.6164  US 52 (Lucas Street) – Florence, Darlington
Darlington
No major junctions
Florence169.0272.0169TV Road – Quinby, Florence
170.7274.7170  SC 327 – Florence, Marion, Myrtle BeachTo Francis Marion University and Florence Airport
Pee Dee River175.2282.0Pee Dee River Bridge
Marlboro
No major junctions
Dillon181.7292.4181  SC 38 – Latta, Marion, BennettsvilleSigned as exits 181A (east) and 181B (west)
  I-73Proposed interchange[20][21]
190.5306.6190  SC 34 – Dillon
Dillon193.3311.1193   SC 9 / SC 57 – Dillon, Little Rock, BennettsvilleBen Bernanke exit ramp[22]
198.8319.91   US 301 / US 501 – Rowland, Laurinburg, DillonInterchange extends into North Carolina; signed as exits 1A (south) and 1B (north) southbound; exit number based on North Carolina mileage
  I-95 north – FayettevilleContinuation into North Carolina
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Google (April 7, 2013). "Interstate 95 in South Carolina" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved April 7, 2013. 
  2. ^ South Caroline General Assembly 1993-1994(Bill #1355)
  3. ^ "SC Rest Areas Map". South Carolina Department of Transportation. Retrieved December 29, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Weigh station opens on Interstate 95; first of kind in Southeast" (Press release). South Carolina Department of Public Safety. February 24, 2012. Retrieved December 29, 2014. 
  5. ^ "South Carolina Garden Club - Blue Star Memorial Program". Archived from the original on November 10, 2013. Retrieved November 10, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Road dedicated to SC Highway Patrolman". Associated Press. Florence, SC: CarolinaLive.com. October 14, 2013. Retrieved November 10, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Lance Corporal Jacob Ham, Jr". Retrieved November 10, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Lance Corporal Jacob Ham, Jr., South Carolina Highway Patrol, South Carolina". Retrieved November 10, 2013. 
  9. ^ Bill 4102, South Carolina General Assembly, 112th Session, 1997-1998, May 8, 1997
  10. ^ "Lance Corporal Mark Hunter Coates". Retrieved November 10, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Trooper Mark Hunter Coates, South Carolina Highway Patrol, South Carolina". Retrieved November 10, 2013. 
  12. ^ "I-95 Lake Marion Bridge (Clarendon County, 1968)". Retrieved April 7, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Mapmikey's South Carolina Highways Page: Interstate 95". Retrieved April 7, 2013. [unreliable source]
  14. ^ Smith, Tim (February 12, 2012). "Tolls on I-95 creeping closer to South Carolina drivers". GreenvilleOnline.com. Greenville, SC. Retrieved February 12, 2012. 
  15. ^ Ports Panel Backs Interstate Exit (Hardeeville Today; Riverport, South Carolina)
  16. ^ Saunders, Gwyneth (March 17, 2012). "Exit 3 plan important to future of Hardeeville". Savannah Morning News. Savannah, GA. Retrieved February 7, 2013. 
  17. ^ Google (March 13, 2017). "Proposed Business Loop I-95 (Walterboro)" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved March 13, 2017. 
  18. ^ City of Walterboro – I-95 Business Loop Streetscape Corridor
  19. ^ "I-95 Business Loop project continues," by Charles Rowland (The Colletonian)
  20. ^ Staff. "Project Status: Northern Project". I-73 Environmental Impact Study. South Carolina Department of Transportation. Retrieved February 7, 2013. 
  21. ^ I-73 Northern Map (PDF) (Map). South Carolina Department of Transportation. Latta inset. Retrieved February 7, 2013. 
  22. ^ "Next exit: The Bernanke interchange". CNN. Retrieved October 23, 2015. 

External linksEdit