The I-26 Environmental Assessment (EA) between Jedburg and Ridgeville is approximately a thirteen-month study with an anticipated FHWA Environmental Decision in Fall 2019.
Notice to Proceed: April 2018>
Surveys and Field Studies: May to November 2018
Preliminary Engineering: Fall 2018 to Spring 2019
Public Information Meeting: January 2019
Environmental Documentation: September 2018 to September 2019
Public Hearing: Summer 2019
Right-of-Way Plans: Late 2019
Right-of-Way Acquisition: Late 2019 to Late 2020
Final Construction Plans: Late 2020
The Environmental Assessment (EA) of I-26 between Exit 187 - Ridgeville, SC and Exit 194 - Jedburg Road has been written to follow the National Environmental Policy Act Environmental Assessment (NEPA EA) requirements. According to these requirements, this project must be a "comprehensive study that identifies environmental impacts of a land development action and analyzes a broad set of parameters including biodiversity, environmental justice, wetlands, air and water pollution, traffic, geotechnical risks, public safety issues, and hazardous substance issues."
While providing demonstrated opportunities for public involvement, the EA identifies the purpose and need for the project, develops alternatives that may meet the purpose and need - including an option to do nothing, and analyzes the environmental impacts of these alternatives. The EA also recommends a Preferred Alternative.
The SCDOT noise video explains how increased growth and construction results in higher noise levels in communities. The video also illustrates how SCDOT works to mitigate noise impacts of these projects during and after construction. Existing noise measurements prior to project construction are measured and then estimated what they will be like in 20 years based on proposed highway changes and increased traffic. Once these studies are complete, SCDOT evaluates these numbers to determine if a noise wall or other noise-mitigating features are necessary.
When choosing the Preferred Alternative, the environmental analysis evaluates which of the Alternatives meets the project purpose with the fewest impacts. While minimal Right of Way acquisition is a goal, it is possible that some Right of Way will need to be acquired by SCDOT to facilitate the project. This video explains the Right of Way acquisition process, and the rights of property owners that may be affected by that process during the course of a SCDOT project.