October 12
SCDOT Approves Expanding Sound Barrier Walls on I-20 Widening Project in Richland County

The South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) will increase the length of sound barriers that will be constructed on the I-20 rehabilitation and widening project in Richland County. Noise barriers will be placed along Polo Road in the vicinity of Polo Road Elementary School. In addition, barriers will be placed near Chesterbrook Academy and along the entire length of the project between Smallwood Road and Clemson Road.


SCDOT and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) reviewed all comments submitted during the public hearing process including both written and verbal comments submitted a the hearings, and written comments sent to SCDOT during the two-week comment period following the hearings. SCDOT and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) give strong consideration to public comments when evaluating noise reduction measures.


SCDOT researched and evaluated noise policies in other states. Following this review, SCDOT engineers determined that it was possible to give more weight to school facilities in the process of determining where more funding could be spent to reduce highway noise by the use of sound barriers.


Transportation Secretary H. B. Limehouse Jr. said public comments played an important role. “The level of interest in the noise reduction aspect of this project gave us the opportunity to review our noise reduction policy, and allow for a more equitable consideration of the two schools impacted along the corridor,” said Limehouse.


The I-20 project in Richland County will widen and resurface 6.7 miles of one of the more heavily-traveled sections of interstate highway in the state. The project is scheduled to begin in the winter of 2010/2011. The $75 million project is projected to be complete in 30 to 36 months.