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The Highways of South Carolina US 278 
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US 278
From: Georgia State Line at North Augusta (Aiken County)
To: BUSUS 278 Hilton Head (Beaufort County)
Total Length: 154.3 miles  
Nationally, US 278 runs from Hilton Head to US 59-71 Wickes, AR.
ROUTE LOG
GA STATE LINE: 0 - 0
US 25 NB, SC 121 NB: 1 - 1
US 1 NB, US 78 EB, BEGIN SC 421: 1.5 - 2.5
SC 125 NB, SC 421 NB: 0.2 - 2.7
SC 28, SC 125 SB: 4.9 - 7.6
SC 302: 6 - 13.6
SC 19: 5.8 - 19.4
SC 781: 9.3 - 28.7
Barnwell-Aiken Line: 1.2 - 29.9
SC 39: 2.2 - 38.8
SC 37: 8.6 - 47.4
SC 64 WB: 1.9 - 49.3
SC 70: 0.3 - 49.6
SC 64 EB: 0.3 - 49.9
SC 3 NB: 1.3 - 51.2
SC 3 SB: 1.3 - 52.5
SC 300: 0.1 - 52.6
Allendale-Barnwell Line: 6.6 - 59.2
US 301 NB: 7.4 - 66.6
US 301 SB, SC 125: 0.3 - 66.9
US 321: 5.5 - 72.4
Hampton-Allendale Line: 0.8 - 73.2
US 601 NB, SC 363 WB: 8.2 - 81.4
US 601 SB: 0.5 - 81.9
SC 363 EB: 0.2 - 82.1
SC 63: 2.1 - 84.2
SC 68: 2.1 - 86.3
Jasper-Hampton Line: 6.8 - 93.1
SC 3: 4.6 - 97.7
SC 462 WB: 4.9 - 102.6
SC 462 EB: 0.8 - 103.4
SC 652: 4.8 - 108.2
US 17 NB: 4.3 - 112.5
SC 336: 0.2 - 112.7
US 17 SB: 12.7 - 125.4
I-95 (exit 8): 0.3 - 125.7
Beaufort-Jasper Line: 8 - 133.7
SC 170: 1 - 134.7
SC 46: 6 - 140.7
US 278 Bus: 8.6 - 149.3
US 278 Bus: 5 - 154.3
Creation: Appeared in South Carolina in 1965. US 278 had been around elsewhere back to the early 50's. It ran just like it does today from Augusta, GA to Ridgeland, but continued east to Old House, then south to today's US 278 before heading east onto Hilton Head Island. The 1967 Official Map shows US 278 ending at Forest Beach.
US 278 was placed on a multiplex with US 1-78 from Georgia to SC 125, then multiplexed with SC 125 to Beech Island. Beech Island through Barnwell, Allendale, Fairfax, Hampton, Varnville, and Almeda was all a replacement for SC 28. Almeda through Ridgeland to Old House replaced SC 128. Old House to near Bluffton was a replacement for part of SC 462. Bluffton out to Hilton Head was a replacement for part of SC 46.
Adjustments: Between 1974-77, US 278 east was truncated from Forest Beach back to its current Hilton Head ending at the traffic circle. This left behind the south half of S-7-80 Pope Rd.
About 1997, US 278 was rerouted between Ridgeland and the SC 170 south split. US 278 was sent south with US 17 to nearly Hardeeville, then east across some new construction and some upgrade to S-27-88 and S-27-141 to meet back up with US 278 at the SC 170 jct. The old route became an extended SC 336 from Ridgeland to Old House, an extended SC 462 south from Old House to SC 170, and SC 170 remained as it was when multiplexed with US 278.
In 1998, US 278 received a new routing along the west side of Hilton Head Island, as a new toll road that bypasses Folly Field Beach to allow quicker access to the far south end of Hilton Head. The old route around the east side of the island became US 278 Business.
Improvements: Fully paved upon designation.
The first multilane sections of US 278 were in place when designated: The US 1-78 multiplex; the SC 125 multiplex; the SC 64 multiplex in Barnwell
The next section to be upgraded was from Allendale to Fairfax, between 1974-77.
Between 1980-82, US 278 was 4-laned in the SC 46 vicinity and on everything east of the bridge to Hilton Head.
Between 1986-88, US 278 was fully 4-laned east of SC 46.
In 1989 or 1990, US 278 was 4-laned between SC 170 and SC 46.
When US 278 was rerouted in 1997, everything east of US 17 became 4-laned.
The toll road was 4-laned when opened in 1998.
Comment: US 278 provides the only road access to Hilton Head Island, which today is a thriving resort area and is also the largest town in South Carolina in terms of area.
US 278's toll road was the first toll road in South Carolina in many years. The last one I can think of is today's SC 171 below SC 700, which was toll up to at least the 40's.
US 278 skims across the top of the Savannah River Site. Activity at the site is a lot of cleanup and restoration, so perhaps one day US 278 could be routed through the site instead of around it, especially since some of the roads in the interior of the site are 4-lane.
US 278 was blown off by I-95 until the mid 1990's when a new interchange was built (SC 336 exit today).
US 278 BUSINESS
From: US 278 Hilton Head (Beaufort County)
To: US 278 near Folly Field Beach (Beaufort County)
Total Length: 8.8 miles  
ROUTE LOG
US 278: 0 - 0
US 278: 8.8 - 8.8
Creation: Appeared in 1998 when US 278 Bypass (toll) along the west side of Hilton Head Island was built. This was of course mainline US 278 before that.
Adjustments: None
Improvements: Fully paved and multilaned from inception.
Comment: US 278 Business for Winnsboro uses Fording Island Rd throughout HIlton Head. Also serves the airport.
US 278 Business was once part of today's SC 46.

Last Update: 4 May 2005

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