‘Malfunction Junction’ interchange work to start next spring in Columbia

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(Columbia, SC) — Work on a $1.7 billion overhaul of Malfunction Junction — the congested meeting point of three Columbia interstates known for jamming up traffic — is expected to begin next spring, the S.C. Department of Transportation announced April 30.

A $210 million initial phase of upgrading what the state transportation agency calls the Carolina Crossroads will focus on realignment of the Colonial Life Boulevard interchange on Interstate 126 with additional improvements along Interstate 26 toward U.S. 378.

Officials said “major construction activity” should start in the spring 2022 and run through the end of 2024. The contract was awarded jointly to Great Falls-based United Infrastructure Group and Archer Western, which has a location in Dentsville. 

“The upgrade and modernization of the intersection of I-20, I-26 and I-126 is critical to our economic vitality and will enhance the daily commute for thousands of South Carolinians,” S.C. DOT secretary Christy Hall said in a statement.

More than 134,000 vehicles travel through the area daily, and with delays created by outdated road designs, commuters spend nearly three work weeks — 112 hours — stuck in traffic a year, according to S.C DOT.

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