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Interstate System Celebrates 50 years


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In 1956, President Eisenhower signed the "Federal-Aid Act of 1956" which provided the funding for the interstate system. Originally intended for the transport of military troops and equipment, interstates are now used by everyone to get around the country quickly and safely. There are 46,508 miles of interstates across the US. Here are some facts about SC's interstates:

- I-85 was the first, completed in 1964

- 844 miles across the state

- Almost all South Carolinians live within 30 miles of one

- Of the 46 counties, 28 are served by interstates

- Only 1.3% of our total public highway system, yet it carries 27% of traffic

How vital have these interstates been for our cities and our state? What are some of the great accomplishments and mistakes made? How can they be improved?

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The interstates did the following:

No doubt the I-85 corridor brought a lot of change in the upstate.

77/26/20 interstates circumventing Columbia avoided the DOT ever building a beltway so thats million of dollars saved there.

I-95 is an interstate that improved the economic challanged counties in the Pee Dee and the Low country.

Without the interstates, US 21 (Charlotte to Columbia) via US 321 (Columbia to Hardeeville), US 29, US 301 and US 17 would of all been multilaned with a mix of freeway/arterial/boulevard sections through the state. It would resemble PA's crappy four lane highway system.

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...I-95 is an interstate that improved the economic challanged counties in the Pee Dee and the Low country...

True, I-95 improved the Pee Dee and Lowcountry regions, but with SC lacking adequate foresight, not building I-95 right to Chas was a grave mistake. If I-95 had its original planned route, it would have intersected with I-26 in the north area.

By giving I-95 better access to the port and the city, the economy of the Pee Dee and Lowcountry regions would be much better than they are now. Chas might possibly be much bigger than it is now. Also, Florence would have had more interconnectivity with Chas, stimulating its presence as a hub with I-20 being there.

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^I agree. I also think I-20 should have been extended to Myrtle Beach.

I'm glad that in SC, we don't have the horror stories of interstates demolishing entire neighborhoods as it plowed through the city center.

And of course, Teshadoh commented on the double-edged sword of I-85 in the "We don't want to become another Atlanta" thread.

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