Could you imagine going through life every day with near-debilitating, chronic back pain? Back pain is one of the most common ailments in America - it's estimated that 8% of all adults, or 16 million people, suffer from chronic back pain in the U.S. every year. If you've never experienced a back injury or pain, be thankful. Chronic back pain affects every aspect of a person's life, from participating in sports to limitations with everyday activities, like cooking dinner. In fact, many people with chronic back pain can't even make a reliable living and put food on the table. Almost 83 million workdays are lost every year due to choric back pain.
The inability to work and provide isn't just a physical issue - it can become an emotional one too. Many people suffering from chronic back pain also suffer from depression and anxiety. Unfortunately, in the past, chronic back pain sufferers wanting to avoid addictive medications and invasive surgeries had few viable relief options. However, if you're suffering from a chronic back issue like sciatica, a pinched nerve, or a bulging disc, pain relief may be closer than you think.
Modern chiropractic care and, more specifically, a spinal decompression chiropractor in Isle of Palms, SC, may be the long-term solution you need for chronic back pain.
A common misconception is that chiropractors only adjust your back and neck when, in fact, they treat the whole body with all-natural treatments. Here at Elite Healthcare, our doctors focus on your overall health, not just pain. We want to find and address the underlying causes of your symptoms. If you're unfamiliar with an integrative approach to medicine, this strategy may seem new. Our chiropractic care is less about putting a band-aid on the problem and more about finding a natural, long-term solution to your pain.
Fortunately, our experienced chiropractors provide the best in natural pain relief. Prescription and over-the-counter pain medications mask the symptoms you're experiencing versus getting to the cause of your pain. Pain is often the result of your spine being out of alignment, which leads to nerve issues. Once your spine is back in alignment, the nerves function correctly again.
Because our chiropractic center offers a combination of different therapies and non-surgical treatments, we provide a comprehensive approach to healing. Depending on the extent of your back problems, spinal decompression therapy may be the answer to your chronic pain problems.
Initially developed in 1985 by Dr. Allan Dyer, spinal decompression has been used by chiropractors for years. Unfortunately, spinal decompression is often passed over as a viable treatment, despite its numerous benefits.
In the past, patients suffering from chronic back pain issues like herniated discs were usually prescribed powerful medications. They were instructed to refrain from physical activities, referred to a physical therapist, and sent on their way. While physical therapy has an important role in back pain recovery, some back conditions need a more comprehensive treatment approach. For those patients, surgery seemed like the only option.
Today, patients with chronic back pain have many more options to consider. One of the most effective treatments for serious back pain is spinal decompression. This proven therapy, provided by Elite Healthcare, has been shown to significantly reduce pain and help patients live a normal, even active lifestyle once again.
Spinal decompression, also called Lumbar Cervical Decompression Therapy (LCD Therapy), is a very effective non-surgical solution to chronic back pain problems. If you're like most patients, your back pain is caused by disc issues related to your spine. This type of therapy uses computer technology and a spinal decompression machine in cityname, state, to stretch your spinal column slowly and gently, relieving abnormal pressure on the discs in your back, which sit in between your vertebrae.
This precise stretching action causes negative pressure to form inside the discs in your back, making them retract. With time, this negative pressure causes a reverse vacuum of sorts that actually draws your protruding discs into place. When pressure is removed from the disc segments in your spine, you experience much-needed pain relief.
The primary purpose of spinal decompression therapy is to provide you with immediate pain relief while creating a healthy environment to heal your spinal disc condition. Some of the most common conditions that spinal decompression therapy treats include:
This happens when spinal discs in your back are pushed outside of the spinal canal. When pushed outside of their usual space, these discs can put pressure on the nerves in your spine, resulting in localized pain and pain throughout your body. If a bulging disc is left untreated, it has a high chance of rupturing, which can necessitate surgery and longer recovery time.
Herniated discs are discs in your back that fracture or crack and leak fluid. The fluid or gel that leaks from a herniated disc may irritate the nerves in your back. When this happens, you may experience an intense burning sensation that shoots up and down your lower back and legs.
As you grow older, joints in your body, like your knees and hips, begin to wear away with time. The same thing can happen to the discs in your back. Often caused by heavy lifting or a family history of spine problems, degenerative discs are painful and can lead to serious situations. In advanced cases, bone spurs can form and affect the nerves of your spine.
When a herniated disc or bone spur begins to put pressure on the nerves in your back, it often causes sciatica. Sciatica is a common back problem that causes pain to radiate from your lower back down your legs via your sciatic nerve. Sometimes, this pain is only felt in one of your legs.
This condition is similar to arthritis of your spine, where the cartilage inside your facet joint breaks down and becomes inflamed. The result is often intense neck and back pain. It's most often caused by degenerative changes in the joints located between the bones of your spine.
This painful condition manifests when the space in your backbone is too small. When this happens, pressure impacts your spinal cord and the nerves that travel through it. Like other conditions treated by a spinal decompression therapy cityname, state, stenosis is caused by wear-and-tear in your back, which forms arthritis.
This term is often used to classify a range of back problems, most often caused by a pinched nerve root in your spinal column. This pinched nerve root may occur in different locations down your spine, like the lumbar or thoracic areas. Usually caused by a narrowing of the space where your nerve root leaves the spine, symptoms of this condition include pain, tingling, numbness, and weakness.
If you're looking for a safe way to relieve your chronic back pain, spinal decompression should be on your list of treatments to consider. This painless procedure is backed by research showing higher success rates in many patients when compared to spinal surgery. Unlike many medications, spinal decompression from Elite Healthcare Physical Medicine is designed to correct the condition you're facing while also minimizing costs and eliminating recovery and downtime.
Some of the most popular reasons why patients choose spinal decompression over surgery and other treatments include:
Invasive procedures, like back surgeries, often leave the patient racked with pain, long recovery times, and complications. Sometimes, the surgery doesn't work as intended, leaving the patient responsible for a therapy that didn't work correctly. As a non-invasive treatment, spinal decompression therapy can treat back and neck pain without needles, incisions, or harmful manipulations of the spine.
Getting back pain relief from surgery is far from guaranteed. However, because spinal decompression targets the underlying causes of your back pain, it's a much more effective long-term treatment. Spinal decompression is not a quick fix. When coupled with positive lifestyle changes like losing weight, you can maximize the pain-relieving benefits of spinal decompression.
Surgery of the back and spine requires the patient to be bedridden and uncomfortable for days and even weeks. Recovering from back surgery is no easy feat and often requires strong pain medications to help. Sometimes, back surgeries don't go as planned, causing complications and worse scenarios. Spinal decompression, on the other hand, is very effective and doesn't require much recovery time at all. Once your spinal decompression session is over, you'll probably be able to drive yourself home from our office.
One of the least talked about issues with back pain medications is that they only treat the pain, not the underlying causes. For many patients, relying on meds to relieve back pain fosters dependency on pain pills. Pain pill addiction is a very serious issue in the U.S., often leading patients down a dark path. With spinal decompression, you won't have to worry about taking pills for pain relief. That's because the root causes of your back pain are addressed, not just the symptoms.
If you were to look at the cost of surgery and subsequent years of prescription medication, you might be shocked. When compared to spinal decompression, surgery is a much more expensive treatment to consider. You've got to take the cost of surgery into account, but also the fact that you'll be forced to take time off work. By choosing spinal decompression therapy, you're choosing a safe, non-surgical treatment that doesn't require any time off work.
Spinal decompression relieves pressure on disrupted discs, causing them to retract back into place. This revolutionary treatment also lets oxygen, fluids, and nutrients re-enter your spinal discs, which provides additional healing.
By now, you probably have a better idea of how spinal decompression can help rid your life of back pain. But spinal decompression treatment does more than help with bulging discs, herniated discs, arthritis, and more. It has also been shown to provide patients with important quality-of-life benefits.
As mentioned above, harsh surgeries leave you bedridden and unable to work for long periods of time. Spinal decompression allows you to jump right back into the workforce, so you can continue providing for your family. Plus, reducing your back pain naturally increases your mobility since you won't be stressing about hurting yourself while moving. Instead, you'll be living in the moment.
One of the worst symptoms affecting people with back pain is the inability to sleep well. Sleeping with back pain can be horrible, causing you to toss and turn to find a comfortable spot. As soon as you find one and get settled, your back starts to hurt again. It's a vicious cycle, but adjusting your spine and relieving pressure with spinal decompression will help you get a good night's rest.
Did you know that when your spine is decompressed, it helps fluids circulate throughout your body? These fluids actually flush your lymphatic system, which helps support your overall immune system. Better circulation also benefits your brain and can help boost concentration and memory. The improved circulation from spinal decompression may also distribute oxygen and nutrients to your skin, creating a multi-benefit effect.
We are happy to answer your questions, and help you find the services you need. Please message us to get started.
At Elite Healthcare Physical Medicine, we practice an integrated approach to pain relief and chiropractic care. Our goal is to restore your spine to its proper alignment, which speeds up your recovery time and prevents additional injuries. If chronic back pain has taken over your life, it's time to visit our chiropractic office for a thorough evaluation.
Ask yourself this: Have you been suffering from headaches and sleepless nights due to muscle strain? Is your ability to work and put food on the table compromised due to a pinched nerve? No amount of over-the-counter pain medication can provide a long-term fix for such an issue. Thankfully, our chiropractors have years of experience providing relief to patients just like yourself.
After a comprehensive exam, our doctor will create an individualized treatment plan tailored to your body. That way, we can address the full scope of your symptoms by correcting any root causes of your back pain.
From minor chiropractic adjustments to spinal decompression treatment, we'll find the solution that your back and body need to heal correctly. If you're ready to get back on the road to better health, we're here to help every step of the way. Contact our Elite Healthcare Physical Medicine today to get started.
Best Places to Live in Charleston: Charleston is located in the southeastern United States, specifically in South Carolina. It is the largest city and the county seat of Charleston County. This is a modal window.No compatible source was found for this media.10 Fun Facts About CharlestonThe town is situated ...
Best Places to Live in Charleston: Charleston is located in the southeastern United States, specifically in South Carolina. It is the largest city and the county seat of Charleston County.
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The town is situated on a peninsula between the Ashley and Cooper rivers and is known for its historic architecture, beautiful beaches, and vibrant culture.
Charleston has a rich history, dating back to its founding in 1670 by English colonists.
It played a significant role in the American Revolution and Civil War and was also an important center of trade and commerce during the colonial era.
Today, Charleston is a popular tourist destination named one of the best small cities in the United States by several publications.
The city is known for its beautiful antebellum homes, cobblestone streets, and horse-drawn carriage tours.
It also has a thriving culinary scene, with numerous award-winning restaurants and renowned chefs.
Charleston is also home to several colleges and universities, including the College of Charleston and the Medical University of South Carolina.
Located just across the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge from downtown Charleston, Mount Pleasant is a charming town with a small-town feel with a population of 92,105.
Mount Pleasant has a diverse economy that offers various job opportunities with the top employers in the area, including; the Medical University of South Carolina, Roper St. Francis Healthcare, Boeing South Carolina, and the Charleston County School District.
In terms of economy, the cost of living in Mount Pleasant is around 11% higher than the national average, mainly due to the higher cost of housing and transportation.
The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Mount Pleasant is around $1,300 per month, while a two-bedroom apartment rent for an average of $1,800 per month.
But, it can vary depending on amenities, location, and size. A stay at Mount Pleasant is fun as it offers various outdoor activities, including water sports, fishing, and golfing.
For those who love the hustle and bustle of city life, downtown Charleston is the place to be. The historic district boasts beautiful architecture, renowned restaurants, and many entertainment options.
In downtown Charleston, the cost of living is even higher due to the high demand for housing than the cost of living in a historic and tourist-oriented area.
For example, one-bedroom apartments range from $1,500 to $2,500 per month.
However, it is also possible to find less expensive options if you are willing to look outside of the downtown area.
Job opportunities are guaranteed since many job opportunities exist, including those in hospitality and tourism, healthcare, education, and government.
The city has many museums, galleries, and cultural institutions, including the Charleston Museum, the Gibbes Museum of Art, and the Charleston Symphony Orchestra.
James Island is located in Charleston County, South Carolina, USA. Its population is approximately 13,000 people, and it is known for its natural beauty and proximity to downtown Charleston and Folly Beach.
Regarding job opportunities, James Island is part of the larger Charleston metropolitan area, home to various industries, including healthcare, manufacturing, and hospitality.
The cost of living on James Island is generally considered higher than the national average, with housing costs being a significant factor.
According to data from Zillow, the median home value on James Island is around $399,000, which is higher than the median home value in Charleston.
A one-bedroom rent averages $1,200, which can be more or less due to various factors.
Overall, James Island is desirable for those who value natural beauty, community, and proximity to downtown Charleston and the beach.
West Ashley is a suburban area located in the city of Charleston, South Carolina. It is an excellent choice for those who want to be close to downtown and enjoy the convenience of suburban living.
The area offers a variety of shopping and dining options, as well as beautiful parks and green spaces.
The site has a growing job market with opportunities in healthcare, education, retail, hospitality, and other industries offering a wide range of employment opportunities.
Although housing costs, in particular, can be more expensive than in other parts of the country, the cost of living is lower than in some other famous cities in the United States.
Generally, West Ashley offers a good quality of life with plenty of job opportunities, a diverse population, and cultural attractions.
This master-planned community is located just across the Cooper River from downtown Charleston.
Daniel Island is known for its beautiful homes, top-rated schools, and ample outdoor recreational opportunities. Daniel Island’s population is approximately 13,729 people, which is expected to grow.
According to Best Places, the cost of living in Daniel Island is 34% higher than the national average, with significant contributors being homes and rents.
There are job opportunities with major employers in sectors like Blackbaud, Benefitfocus, and the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) Health.
The island is home to several parks and trails, including the famous Smythe Park, which features a lake, playground, and picnic areas.
Also, there are annual events that bring the community together to celebrate.
If you are looking for a beach town vibe, Isle of Palms is the place to be. Located just 20 minutes from downtown Charleston, this barrier island offers beautiful beaches, great restaurants, and plenty of outdoor activities.
However, the cost of living in the Isle of Palms is higher than the national average.
The median rent in Isle of Palms is around $2,000 monthly, higher than the national average due to the beach’s location.
For work opportunities, Isle of Palms is a small community with limited job opportunities.
Most of the residents work in Charleston or other nearby cities. Some of the major industries in the area include; healthcare, hospitality, and tourism.
Isle of Palms has a laid-back, beach vibe and is known for its outdoor recreational opportunities, such as swimming, surfing, boating, and fishing.
Harleston Village is located in downtown Charleston, a hub for various hospitality, healthcare, and education industries. Many job opportunities are available in these industries, as well as in technology and other sectors.
Additionally, the nearby Charleston International Airport and the Port of Charleston provide job opportunities in transportation and logistics.
The estimated population of Charleston is 137,916 as of 2022, but it is expected to rise.
Harleston Village is considered an upscale neighborhood, so the cost of living and housing prices tend to be higher than in other areas of Charleston.
But the general cost of living in Charleston is higher than the national average, but it is still relatively affordable compared to other major cities.
The neighborhood has many historic buildings and landmarks, including the College of Charleston and the Dock Street Theatre. So, brace yourself to have a fun filled life while living at Harleston Village.
ISLE OF PALMS — Islanders here may have to learn to live with the resident coyotes as shooting the species is illegal on the island, and trapping is the only other option.Officials don’t know exactly how many coyotes live on Isle of Palms, but most of them linger near the Wild Dunes area.Twelve sightings were documented so far this year. And 59 were counted in 2022, according to Ryan Warren, an animal control officer on the island.But the invasive predators have a presence in each of the state’s countie...
ISLE OF PALMS — Islanders here may have to learn to live with the resident coyotes as shooting the species is illegal on the island, and trapping is the only other option.
Officials don’t know exactly how many coyotes live on Isle of Palms, but most of them linger near the Wild Dunes area.
Twelve sightings were documented so far this year. And 59 were counted in 2022, according to Ryan Warren, an animal control officer on the island.
But the invasive predators have a presence in each of the state’s counties. The species is extremely adaptable and detrimental to deer, turkey and other native animals.
Between 20,000-25,000 coyotes are taken annually in the state.
Summertime is when Isle of Palms animal control officers get the most calls about coyote sightings. Visitors often report the coyotes because they don’t realize the animals are residents on the island, Warren said Feb. 22 at a meeting on how to deal with the animals.
“We’re definitely pushing for people to call more,” Warren said. “So maybe that might be why we have more sightings or maybe there’s more out there.”
The city tries to alert residents and visitors of the animals through its website and occasionally on Facebook. And Warren said they will consider adding signs in the area, too.
Coyote dens might be spotted in a number of locations.
In flat areas like Isle of Palms, it is common to see a den dug up under roots of a fallen tree, in brush areas and on the sides of banks, according to Jay Butfiloski, the furbearer coordinator for the state Department of Natural Resources.
The animals are also known to wander in the dunes on the beach here.
In 2021, a 2-year-old Boykin Spaniel was attacked by four coyotes in the sand dunes on Isle of Palms.
Also in 2021, a Mount Pleasant man said coyotes were to blame for the death of two of his cats in the fenced Sandpiper Point II neighborhood.
Missing or deceased pets are good indicators that coyotes could be nearby.
Officials believe the coyotes on Isle of Palms could be coming from Mount Pleasant and other areas.
The Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway between Mount Pleasant and Isle of Palms is not a barrier for the animals, as they can easily cross it, Butfiloski said.
He recommends people do a number of things to protect themselves and their pets from coyotes.
First, people should keep pets on short leashes and don’t leave them unattended outside where coyotes are known to roam the area.
Habitat management can be considered as a control method, too, Butfiloski said.
Clearing out brush in areas that are highly traveled, like in parks and even yards, could prove beneficial. It will reduce the habitat for the small mammals that coyotes prey on and also prevent them from hiding.
The biggest issues with coyotes in developed areas is typically food and trash-related, though. People are encouraged not to leave food outdoors for feral cats, pets or other wild animals.
“That allows a free meal, it allows them (coyotes) to kind of get habituated to people, and that’s where things get to be a problem,” he said.
While more calls come in about coyote sightings on the Isle of Palms during tourist season, statewide coyote sightings are typically higher in the wintertime, partly due to vegetation, lost foliage and increased breeding activities and movements.
There tends to be a decrease in sightings in the summer when the animals are pup rearing.
“When the pups are young, they’re like kids. They don’t care if they’re very visible whenever a den is nearby,” Butfiloski said. “But it might not be an indicator (that) you’ve got a whole bunch more.”
No hunting license or permit is required in South Carolina for people to shoot coyotes on their property within 100 yards of the home. But local municipalities may have other regulations.
Night hunting is permitted on registered properties or with a depredation permit. Trapped coyotes may not be relocated.
CHARLESTON, S.C. (Lowcountry Weekend) - What’s worth its weight in gold but light enough to stash in your pocket? A Charleston County Parks Gold Pass! This annual pass rewards park-goers with a year’s worth of great benefits, including unlimited admission to many of your Charleston County parks. But that’s only the beginning…Music lovers and foodies, flash your Gold Pass to enjoy free entry to popular events like the Reggae Nights Summer Concert Series, the Latin American Festival, and the Lowcountry Cajun Fes...
CHARLESTON, S.C. (Lowcountry Weekend) - What’s worth its weight in gold but light enough to stash in your pocket? A Charleston County Parks Gold Pass! This annual pass rewards park-goers with a year’s worth of great benefits, including unlimited admission to many of your Charleston County parks. But that’s only the beginning…
Music lovers and foodies, flash your Gold Pass to enjoy free entry to popular events like the Reggae Nights Summer Concert Series, the Latin American Festival, and the Lowcountry Cajun Festival. Is the Holiday Festival of Lights a can’t-miss part of your Christmas season celebrations? The Gold Pass is good for an evening’s admission to the lights show!
Birdwatchers, your Gold Pass allows you to enroll for free in Early Morning Bird Walks at Caw Caw Interpretive Center. History-minded Gold Pass holders can enter McLeod Plantation Historic Site at no charge, walking the grounds of the carefully preserved, deeply significant Gullah/Geechee heritage site.
On hot summer days, pack your Gold Pass along with your sunscreen to swim and splash for free at the West Ashley Aquatic Center. If strolling through the surf or sunning in the sand is more your speed, your Gold Pass entitles you to free parking at Folly Beach County Park, Isle of Palms County Park, and Kiawah Beachwalker Park.
Gold-bearing bikers and hikers can return again and again to the Wannamaker North Trail, without spending a dime. And just when you think you’ve exhausted all the fun your Charleston County parks can offer (that’s impossible, btw), Gold Pass holders receive $15 off annual memberships to the South Carolina Aquarium!
You can even give the gift of gold—it never goes out of style—when you present a Gold Pass as a housewarming gift for Lowcountry newcomers, a birthday present for a nature-loving friend, an employee perk from an appreciative boss, or a retirement treat for someone making the most of their new chapter in life. Because a Gold Pass makes a wonderful gift for anyone eager to fill their lives with more experiences and less “stuff.”
Best of all, Gold Pass holders are allowed admission of up to 15 people per vehicle for most locations, so you only need one Gold Pass to treat your family, your friends, your neighborhood walking group, your son’s sleepover pals, or any other crew riding in your car to an awesome day in the parks. Larger groups can enjoy the benefits of the Community Bus Gold Pass, available to school groups, daycares, churches, and organizations bringing large buses.
And the savings? They’re as good as gold.
Copyright 2023 WCSC. All rights reserved.
More than half a million dollars of federal funding is going toward renovating public access at two parks in Charleston.CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - More than half a million dollars of federal funding is going toward renovating public access at two parks in Charleston.In the county, $427,827.50 in federal money is going towards an ADA accessible observation deck on the Isle of Palms, among other improvements. The aging boardwalk, outdoor showers, and railing on walkways will also be replaced ...
More than half a million dollars of federal funding is going toward renovating public access at two parks in Charleston.
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - More than half a million dollars of federal funding is going toward renovating public access at two parks in Charleston.
In the county, $427,827.50 in federal money is going towards an ADA accessible observation deck on the Isle of Palms, among other improvements. The aging boardwalk, outdoor showers, and railing on walkways will also be replaced during the project.
For families like the Adkins, this kind of accessibility is essential. Matt and Leslie have two sons, Jace and Braiden, who love the beach. Braiden is in a wheelchair.
“There’s not a lot of point in going out to the beach if we can’t get him out to it. So, every county park beach that we’ve been to, everything we deal with for county parks they always put accessibility at the forefront,” Matt says.
They say the park access to the beach is done so well that it makes it a joy for their family to take in the natural resources the area has to offer. The new observation deck will be closer to the beach.
“Even with this project, it was already accessible, but I love that it wasn’t good enough. They really want to make sure we have the same quality of access that every other person in the community does,” Leslie says.
In the city, $261,000 is going towards renovating docks, boardwalks, and playground equipment at Fort Pemberton. Improvements include improving the restroom, parking, paths and boardwalks, benches, bike racks, picnic tables, swings, drinking fountains and landscaping.
Land, Water & Wildlife Manager at the Coastal Conservation League Rachel Hawes says she lives the in the area of the Fort Pemberton Park, and the community is looking forward to the upgrades. She also says the Coastal Conservation League supports preserving and creating safe access to resources like the waterfront.
“We support and advocate for a nice balance between the two. But given the short supply of public access we are really excited to see these parks be funded – these points of accessibility to be funded, we think it will bring an equitable way for people to reach the water,” Hawes says.
Fort Pemberton Park is along the Stone River and provides a green space to nearby neighborhoods and visitors. Hawes says all parks should create the opportunity for people of all kinds to experience the beauty of Charleston’s nature.
“A lot of us get to work in those natural resources often, but a lot of us don’t. So, getting people out there to see them and have that appreciation for that habitat will hopefully create better stewards of that habitat in the future,” Hawes says.
The total cost for the Fort Pemberton Project is $522,000. The total cost for the Isle of Palms Park Project is $855,655. The money to complete the projects comes from the federal grants as well as local and some state investment.
Copyright 2023 WCSC. All rights reserved.
COLUMBIA — Widening a 53-mile stretch of Interstate 95 through lower South Carolina is a newly designated priority for keeping freight moving safely to the Georgia border, but a start date is still years away.While the timeline is still to be determined, work to widen the segment between U.S. Highway 17 in Jasper County and Interstate 26 in Orangeburg County to three lanes each way likely won’t start until at least 2030, S.C. Department of Transportation officials say.That’s concerning for state Sen. Chip Camp...
COLUMBIA — Widening a 53-mile stretch of Interstate 95 through lower South Carolina is a newly designated priority for keeping freight moving safely to the Georgia border, but a start date is still years away.
While the timeline is still to be determined, work to widen the segment between U.S. Highway 17 in Jasper County and Interstate 26 in Orangeburg County to three lanes each way likely won’t start until at least 2030, S.C. Department of Transportation officials say.
That’s concerning for state Sen. Chip Campsen, R-Isle of Palms, who questioned whether continued patchwork repairs of “the worst roadbed in the entire state” makes financial sense.
“It is literally falling apart,” he told DOT Secretary Christy Hall following her presentation to senators last week on the status of the state’s highways.
“I actually take (U.S. Highway) 15 instead of the interstate because of the potholes,” said Campsen, whose coastal district extends to Beaufort County.
“I see boat trailers abandoned on the side of the interstate because they’ve busted an axle — their springs broke — because they hit a pothole,” he added. “You better know where the potholes are to safely drive it. I wouldn’t dare drive 70 miles an hour on it.”
DOT is “very much aware of the situation,” Hall said.
The twofold problem is unique to that section of interstate through the Lowcountry. Regular washouts erode where the pavement connects to the interstate shoulder, plus soil that tends to stay wet undermines 30- to 50-foot slabs of concrete that rock and crack under traffic, she said.
“When these slabs break, we try to safen them up as best we can, then bring somebody in to do an overnight repair by removing that slab and replacing it,” she said. “There is some challenge in that because it seems as soon as you fix one, the next one starts to crack.”
The good news, she said, is that much of that cracking is occurring on the southernmost segment where widening work starts next year, and major repairs of the existing lanes south of the I-26 intersection are under contract.
A complete reconstruction has begun of the four lanes — two each way — between the U.S. 17 connection at mile marker 33 and the Walterboro exit at mile marker 68. The $86 million contract includes tree clearing for safety, patching concrete and laying asphalt on top. That work will continue through 2025, said DOT Chief of Staff Justin Powell.
A separate contract of $7.4 million covers patch repairs only on the 18 miles between the Walterboro exit and the I-26 interchange, which started last March and should be done by year’s end.
Widening the first 33 miles from the Georgia border will be done in three stages, wrapping up in 2030 with a total price tag of roughly $1 billion, Hall said.
Work on the first 8 miles, to include replacing the Savannah River bridge, will start in 2024, followed by 13 more miles in 2026. Plans calls for the next 12-mile segment, from mile marker 21 to the Ridgeland exit at U.S. 17, to start in 2028.
That construction was accelerated by a $600 million infusion of state and federal money the Legislature approved last year for the DOT’s existing plan for interstate widening through rural areas.
In addition to the first 33 miles of I-95 completed at least two years ahead of schedule, a 70-mile segment of I-26 between Lexington and Berkeley counties is on track for completion by 2034 — six years sooner than projected.
Speeding up those projects allowed for more to be added to the priority list for rural interstate widening.
Last month, the state DOT Commission added three. Ranked highest among them was the remaining 53-mile stretch of I-95 to the Interstate 26 connection, followed by 29 miles of I-95 from the North Carolina border to Florence exit 170 — the Buc-ee’s travel center exit. Ranking third is a 34-mile stretch of I-26 from the Little Mountain exit in Newberry County to the Interstate 385 split at Exit 51.
It’s important to prioritize the movement of freight through rural South Carolina, not just urban centers, said DOT Deputy Secretary Brent Rewis.
“First and foremost, if South Carolina wants to continue to attract business and increase manufacturing, it’s imperative we have a reliable interstate system. Secondly, we need to improve safety,” he said. “We also want to make sure we have an efficient system. Hopefully, that will help lower costs from a freight perspective. It doesn’t do any good if we have commercial motor vehicles stuck in traffic.”
About 9,500 commercial trucks travel daily on the three stretches that total 116 miles. And over the last five years, there were an average of eight accidents per mile involving commercial trucks, he said.
“The bottom line is, it’s time to expand our rural interstate program,” Rewis told DOT commissioners before they unanimously approved adding the segments to the priority list.
Their addition allows for engineering, environmental studies and long-range planning, not construction in the short term, Powell said.
“A tremendous amount of interstate work is moving forward,” Hall said.
Still, legislators were hoping to hear of more work faster.
“That’s the welcome to South Carolina — at least, when you’re coming from the south,” Campsen said about I-95. “And it’s not a very welcoming welcome mat when you’re coming from Georgia, which has great roads, and then you get to 95 in South Carolina, and it’s like no-man’s land in World War I with the craters.”
Hall reminded senators that South Carolina has the nation’s fourth-largest state highway system serving the third-fastest-growing population.
A 12 cents-per-gallon increase to the state gas tax is funding $3 billion of road and bridge work across the state. Legislators approved the phased-in tax hike in 2017, the first for state gas taxes in 30 years. South Carolina gas taxes, at 28 cents per gallon after the increase fully phased in last July, remain 3.2 cents below Georgia’s and 12.5 cents below North Carolina’s.
“Of course, Georgia has twice the budget and half the responsibility,” Hall told Campsen.