Skip to main content

SC gets green light to toll I-95...could I-26 be next?

South Carolina has recently received approval from the federal government to add tolls to Interstate 95 and appears to be considering the same for Interstate 26. However, the state has no current plans to go forward with the tolling on either highway.

The approval which comes after an August request by SCDOT to gain permission to toll the Interstate. The request was part of the "Corridors to the Future" program. South Carolina was not the only state to request tolling Interstate 95. It appears that Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida made similar requests as well.

Rumors of when, how, and where Interstate 95 will be tolled seem to be widespread throughout the state. A November 15th story in the Greenville News said that the tolling of I-95 could begin in the Spring of 2008. Quoting SC Secretary of Transportation Buck Limehouse the article stated that the tolls would be placed on newly constructed 'hot lanes', which are added tolled express lanes. Motorists willing to pay a toll would use the new highway lanes.

To my knowledge, there are no plans for new 'express lanes' on I-95. My guess is that "Spring 2008" means SCDOT will take a more detailed look at a toll option then.

Pete Poore, who is SCDOT's communications director, said that the tolls would go to "refurbishment and maintenance" and that the tolling option is another "tool in the box" of funding options for SCDOT.

One other story came out of the Greenville News article, the state seems to be looking at tolling I-26...or at least applying for permission. In that article, Limehouse said, "We're looking at I-26 for the same thing because that's where all the truck traffic comes up to Greenville. It's a parking lot right now and it's dangerous."

It was later clarified that the possible tolls would be between Columbia and Charleston.

In the case of I-26, the state has no federal permission to toll Interstate 26.

Stories:
I-95 gets OK for tolls -South Carolina Now
State gets federal OK to charge tolls on I-95; I-26 next -Greenville News

Commentary:
So the state, which may toll Interstate 73, has the OK to toll I-95 and may start this spring, but has no plans to toll the highway nor the 'express lanes' to even charge tolls. Then they may toll I-26 but they don't have federal approval. They need it to Greenville but now only Columbia to Charleston.

Confused yet? It's ok, I had to read both stories a few time to make sense of it too!

What does all this mean - nothing. The state got an OK to toll I-95 but they are also competing with other states to be part of a pilot program to toll previously free interstates. They don't have the ability to toll the highway at this time. Nor do they have the 'express/hot lanes' for the tolls to be placed on either.

Don't forget you'd have to go through right of way acquisition for an over 180 mile highway and everything else that goes along with it.

Interstate 26 - I think Limehouse didn't think first as it appears that SCDOT had to scramble to explain what he meant. SCDOT has no approval to even consider tolling Interstate 26 and even more they haven't submitted an application to do it.

So, in short, the facts are this. SCDOT is looking at tolling various interstates as a funding option to improve and expand their highway system. They are only in the beginning stages of this even becoming a reality and there are a lot of hurdles not only within the federal and state bureaucracy but everything else from private citizen's land to environmental groups to anti-tolling groups to whatever else you want to name.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

California State Route 152

Circumstance had me out in the Monterey Peninsula again this week.  Generally I try to take a route like California State Route 198 or ever County Route J1 to get across the Diablo Range but time had me in a slight bind.  That being the case I took the popular way across the Diablos on California State Route 152 via Pacheco Pass.  152 is one of infamy given it is really the primary route for truckers to get from I-5 west in San Joaquin Valley to US 101 in Salinas Valley.  After zig-zagging some accidents on/off California State Route 99 near Madera in the rural outskirts of the County bearing the same name I began my westbound trek on 152.




CA 152 is called the William Whitehurst Highway, at least it is west from CA 99.  The entire route of CA 152 in San Joaquin is an expressway aside from a small portion in the city of Los Banos.



The first junction on CA 152 is with CA 233 which is a small 4 mile highway that travels northeast to CA 99.






Next westbound CA 152 encounters the junction w…

The National Road - Ohio - Muskingum and Licking Counties

As it travels from Zanesville towards Columbus, US 40 goes through numerous small towns, changes from two to four lanes and back numerous times, but most importantly the old road keeps its rural charm.  Between Zanesville and Gratiot, there are four former alignments of the old road that can be found: just west of Zanesville, Mt. Sterling, Hopewell and Gratiot.  Most stretches are very short and can be easily recognized with names as "Old US 40", "Old National Road" or some combination of the two.

Zanesville:
Just west of US 40's interchange with Interstate 70 (Exit 152) runs an old alignment.

Mt. Sterling:
Another old alignment goes through this small Muskingum County village.
Hopewell:
Today, US 40 passes south of the community of Hopewell.  The old two lane road is known as Hopewell National Road.
Gratiot:
Old US 40 is known as Main Street in this tiny village of 200 or so residents.  The old highway at times seems forgotten through here.
Just west of Gratiot, US 40 …

Throwback Thursday - October 12, 2017

In this week's edition of Throwback Thursday, we travel back to December 2003 to the southern end of Interstate 99 in Bedford, Pennsylvania, where we can see button copy guide signage for US 30 and US 220 (US 220 runs concurrent with I-99 through this part of the Keystone State). Since I-99 was relatively new at the time, it feels like it was an afterthought.