Interstate 95 in South Carolina

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Interstate 95

Blue Star Memorial Highway
I-95 highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by SCDOT
Length198.76 mi[1] (319.87 km)
HistoryCompleted in 1978
NHSEntire route
Major junctions
South end I-95 at the Georgia line near Hardeeville
Major intersections
North end I-95 at the North Carolina line near Rowland, NC
CountryUnited States
StateSouth Carolina
CountiesJasper, Hampton, Colleton, Dorchester, Orangeburg, Clarendon, Sumter, Florence, Darlington, Marlboro, Dillon
Highway system
SC 93 SC 97

Interstate 95 (I-95) is a major Interstate Highway, running along the East Coast of the United States from Florida to Maine. In South Carolina, I-95 runs approximately parallel to the Atlantic Ocean shore although about 50 miles (80 km) inland, from Hardeeville in the south to Dillon in the northeast. The route runs through the cities of Florence and Walterboro.

Route description

The southern gateway to I-95 in South Carolina

For the most part, the 199-mile (320 km) drive is fairly benign, passing through the pine forests, farmlands, and blackwater streams and swamps of the Atlantic Plain. As the route travels north, it moves inland from coastal cities such as Hardeeville and inland to cities such as Darlington. However, a few landmarks do exist to break up the monotony. Crossing from the south from Georgia just over the Savannah River bridge, motorists are greeted to an elaborate gateway of sabal palmettos into the state of South Carolina. The Juanita M. White Crosswalk also exists between exits 18 and 21.[2] A flyover on twin high-spans over Lake Marion provides an unexpected scenic break in the center of the highway's length. The old US Highway 15 (US 15)/US 301 bridge runs along the west side of I-95 and is used for recreational purposes. Moving further north and out of the Palmetto State, the North Carolina state line is prominently marked by the South of the Border amusement complex at the US 301/US 501 exit. Local traffic parallel to the Interstate uses a combination of US 17 and US 17 Alternate (US 17 Alt.) from the Georgia state line north of Savannah to Walterboro, US 15 from Walterboro to Santee, and US 301 from Santee to South of the Border. In addition, I-95 shares a number of concurrencies, or multiplexes, with three of these US Highways at various stretches in South Carolina.


A welcome sign at the Jasper County welcome center

The South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) operates and maintains three welcome centers and five rest areas along I-95. Welcome centers, which have a travel information facility on site, are located at milemarkers 4 (northbound), 99 (southbound), and 195 (southbound); rest areas are located at milemarkers 47 (north and southbound), 99 (northbound), and 139 (north and southbound). Common at all locations are public restrooms, public telephones, vending machines, picnic areas, and barbecue grills.[3]

The South Carolina Department of Public Safety (SCDPS) and South Carolina State Transport Police (STP) operate and maintain one truck inspection/weigh station, located northbound at milemarker 74. The location utilizes weigh-in-motion that does not require commercial motor vehicles to leave the freeway to be weighed. An inspection shed and pit are also on site, where full-service inspections are performed for flagged and randomly picked trucks.[4]

Several parking area locations are also found along I-95; these were either formally rest areas or weigh stations that were converted. The parking areas offer no amenities and some are even restricted for commercial motor vehicles only.

Dedicated and memorial names

I-95 in South Carolina feature numerous dedicated or memorialized bridges, interchanges, and stretches of freeway.

  • Blue Star Memorial Highway – Official South Carolina honorary name of I-95 throughout the state. Markers are located at both welcome centers.[5]
  • Jacob Ham, Jr. Highway – Is a dedicated two-mile (3.2 km) portion of I-95 located in Darlington County, north of Florence. Dedicated in October, 2013, it is in honor of Lance Corporal Jacob Ham Jr., who served as a trooper with the South Carolina Highway Patrol for 12 years until his death in 1998.[6][7][8]
  • Mark H. Coates Highway – Is a dedicated one-mile (1.6 km) portion of I-95 located in Jasper County near Hardeeville and extends one-half mile (0.80 km) on both sides of milemarker 7. In May 1997, the South Carolina General Assembly passed a resolution to designate this section of I-95 in honor of Lance Corporal Mark Hunter Coates, who served as a trooper with the South Carolina Highway Patrol from 1987 until his death in 1992.[9] Coates, who was a native of Lexington County, was fatally shot near milemarker 7 on November 20, 1992, during a traffic stop.[10][11]


I-95 bridge-causeway over Lake Marion at Santee; the old (bypassed road) bridge-causeway was used as fishing pier until 2019.

I-95 first appeared on state maps between 1962 and 1964, with construction from US 17 north of Hardeeville to Ridgeland. By 1967, more sections were under construction, including Pocotaligo to Walterboro and Santee to the North Carolina state line. The first section to officially open happened in 1968, from South Carolina Highway 527 (SC 527), near Gable, to SC 9/SC 57, in Dillon.

In 1971–1972, more sections of I-95 was completed: going north from SC 9/SC 57, in Dillon, to the North Carolina state line and going south from SC 527, near Gable, along the recently completed 1968-built Lake Marion bridge, to the US 301 connector, in Santee (exit 97).[12] Also part of US 17 between Ridgeland (exit 22) to near Yemassee (exit 33) was combined with I-95, with temporary status through Coosawhatchie; I-95 then continued on new freeway north to SC 63, in Walterboro.

By 1975, I-95 was open continuously from US 17, in Hardeeville, to SC 63, in Walterboro; temporary exits were removed around Coosawhatchie. In 1976, the two sections of I-95 were connected, from SC 63, in Walterboro, to the US 301 connector, in Santee (exit 97). In the same year, exit numbers were added along I-95. The last section of I-95 was completed in 1978, connecting US 17, in Hardeeville, south to the Georgia state line.

In 1987, US 15 and US 301 were relocated from a parallel bridge across Lake Marion,[13] into a triple concurrency with I-95 between exits 97 and 102.[14]

In 1990, exit 21 was added, for what was then US 278, but replaced by SC 336 in 1997. Between 1998 and 2000, exit 153, Honda Way, was added. In 2003, I-95 was widened to six lanes from just south of I-20 to north of SC 327, around Florence.[15]

In the 2010s, local leaders in Hardeeville had requested for a new exit, at milemarker 3, for the RiverPort Business Park, while, in Walterboro, an effort was being made to establish an I-95 business loop that would help steer travelers into the downtown area from the bypassing freeway.[16][17][18] Neither efforts had made further traction since their initial announcements. Also, discussions of possibly converting I-95 into a toll road were brought up but was met with resistance, especially within SCDOT.[19]

Exit list

Savannah River0.000.00
I-95 south (SR 405) – Savannah
Continuation into Georgia
Savannah River Bridge
US 17 to US 321 – Hardeeville, Estill, Savannah
8.213.28 US 278 – Beaufort, Hilton Head Island, Bluffton, Parris Island
18.029.018Bees Creek Road – Switzerlandformer Road 13
Ridgeland20.833.521 SC 336 – Ridgeland
US 17 south – Ridgeland
South end of US 17 overlap
28.345.528 SC 462 – Coosawhatchie
Point South33.053.133
US 17 north – Charleston, Beaufort, Port Royal
North end of US 17 overlap
HamptonYemassee38.261.538 SC 68 – Yemassee, Hampton, Varnville
Colleton42.468.242 US 21 – Yemassee, Orangeburg

SC 63 to US 17 Alt. – Walterboro
To Tuskegee Airmen Monument
57.592.557 SC 64 – Walterboro, Lodge
62.6100.762McLeod Roadformer Road 34
68.4110.168 SC 61 – Canadys, Branchville
Edisto River68.8110.7Edisto River Bridge
DorchesterSt. George76.7123.477 US 78 – St. George, Branchville
82.3132.482 US 178 – Harleyville, Bowman
Orangeburg85.8138.186 I-26 (James F. Byrnes Memorial Freeway) – Charleston, ColumbiaSigned as exits 86A (east) and 86B (west); cloverleaf interchange
90.5145.690 US 176 – Holly Hill, Cameron
93.0149.793 US 15 – Holly Hill

US 15 south / US 301 south – Orangeburg
South end of US 15 and US 301 overlap
Santee98.3158.298 SC 6 – Eutawville, Santee, ElloreeTo Santee State Park
Lake Marion99.8160.6William James Gooding Bridge

US 15 north / US 301 north / Road 400 – North Santee
North end of US 15 and US 301 overlap
Summerton108.2174.1108Buff Blvd – Summertonformer Road 102
114.7184.6115 US 301 – Manning, Summerton
119.0191.5119 SC 261 (Paxville Highway) – Manning, Paxville
122.1196.5122 US 521 / Main Street north (US 301 Conn. north) – Sumter, Manning, AlcoluSouthern terminus of US 301 Conn. and Main Street
132.4213.1132 SC 527 – Sardinia, Bishopville, Kingstree
Sumter135.5218.1135 US 378 – Turbeville, Sumter, Lake CityTo Myrtle Beach via Conway
141.1227.1141 SC 53 / SC 58 – ShilohTo Woods Bay State Natural Area
145.9234.8146 SC 341 – Lake City, Lynchburg, Olanta
Florence149.9241.2150 SC 403 – Sardis, Timmonsville
153.7247.4153Honda Way – Timmonsville
Florence157.5253.5157 US 76 (West Palmetto Street) – Florence, Timmonsville
I-20 west (J. Strom Thurmond Freeway west) – Columbia

I-20 BS east (David McLeod Boulevard east) – Florence
Signed as exits 160A (east) and 160B (west); I-20/I-20 Bus. exits 141A-B; eastern terminus of I-20; western terminus of I-20 Bus.
164.4264.6164 US 52 (Lucas Street) – Florence, Darlington
High Hill CreekFlorenceDarlington county line
Florence169.0272.0169TV Road – Quinby, Florence
170.7274.7170 SC 327 – Florence, Marion, Myrtle BeachMarion and Myrtle Beach signed northbound; Florence signed southbound; to Francis Marion University and Florence Airport
Great Pee Dee River175.2282.0FlorenceDillon county line
Dillon181.7292.4181 SC 38 – Latta, Marion, BennettsvilleSigned as exits 181A (east) and 181B (west); to Myrtle Beach
I-73Proposed interchange[21][22]
190.5306.6190 SC 34 – Dillon
Dillon193.3311.1193 SC 9 / SC 57 – Dillon, Little Rock, BennettsvilleBen Bernanke exit ramp[23]
South CarolinaNorth Carolina line198.8319.91 US 301 / US 501 – Rowland, Laurinburg, DillonInterchange extends into North Carolina; signed as exits 1A (south) and 1B (north) southbound; exit number based on North Carolina mileage

I-95 north – Fayetteville
Continuation into North Carolina
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also


  1. ^ Starks, Edward (January 27, 2022). "Table 1: Main Routes of the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways". FHWA Route Log and Finder List. Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved December 25, 2022.
  2. ^ "South Caroline General Assembly 1993-1994(Bill #1355)". Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2007-07-10.
  3. ^ "SC Rest Areas Map". South Carolina Department of Transportation. Retrieved December 29, 2014.
  4. ^ "Weigh station opens on Interstate 95; first of kind in Southeast" (Press release). South Carolina Department of Public Safety. February 24, 2012. Retrieved December 29, 2014.
  5. ^ "South Carolina Garden Club - Blue Star Memorial Program". Archived from the original on November 10, 2013. Retrieved November 10, 2013.
  6. ^ "Road dedicated to SC Highway Patrolman". Florence, SC: Associated Press. October 14, 2013. Retrieved November 10, 2013.
  7. ^ "Lance Corporal Jacob Ham Jr". Retrieved November 10, 2013.
  8. ^ "Lance Corporal Jacob Ham, Jr., South Carolina Highway Patrol, South Carolina". Retrieved November 10, 2013.
  9. ^ Bill 4102 Archived 2008-02-18 at the Wayback Machine, South Carolina General Assembly, 112th Session, 1997-1998, May 8, 1997
  10. ^ "Lance Corporal Mark Hunter Coates". Retrieved November 10, 2013.
  11. ^ "Trooper Mark Hunter Coates, South Carolina Highway Patrol, South Carolina". Retrieved November 10, 2013.
  12. ^ "I-95 Lake Marion Bridge (Clarendon County, 1968)". Retrieved April 7, 2013.
  13. ^ "I-95 Lake Marion Bridge (Structuate)". Retrieved 10 October 2014.
  14. ^ American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (December 4, 1987), Minutes from the Special Committee on U.S. Route Numbering, p. 3, retrieved December 25, 2022
  15. ^ "Mapmikey's South Carolina Highways Page: Interstate 95". Retrieved April 7, 2013.
  16. ^ McGuire, Erinn. "Ports Panel Backs Interstate Exit" (PDF). Hardeeville Today. Riverport, South Carolina. pp. 12–13. Retrieved December 25, 2022.
  17. ^ Saunders, Gwyneth (March 17, 2012). "Exit 3 plan important to future of Hardeeville". Savannah Morning News. Savannah, GA. Retrieved February 7, 2013.
  18. ^ "I-95 Business Loop Streetscape Corridor" (PDF). City of Walterboro.
  19. ^ Smith, Tim (February 12, 2012). "Tolls on I-95 creeping closer to South Carolina drivers". Greenville, SC. Retrieved February 12, 2012.
  20. ^ Google (April 7, 2013). "Interstate 95 in South Carolina" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved April 7, 2013.
  21. ^ Staff. "Project Status: Northern Project". I-73 Environmental Impact Study. South Carolina Department of Transportation. Retrieved February 7, 2013.
  22. ^ I-73 Northern Map (PDF) (Map). South Carolina Department of Transportation. Latta inset. Retrieved February 7, 2013.
  23. ^ "Next exit: The Bernanke interchange". CNN. Retrieved October 23, 2015.

External links

Interstate 95
Previous state:
South Carolina Next state:
North Carolina