Route of US 278 in South Carolina highlighted in red
|Auxiliary route of US 78|
|Maintained by SCDOT|
|Length:||146.0 mi (235.0 km)|
|Existed:||1965 - present|
|Hilton Head Scenic Byway|
|West end:||/ / / at the GA state line near North Augusta|
in Hilton Head
|Counties:||Aiken, Barnwell, Allendale, Hampton, Jasper, Beaufort|
After crossing the Savannah River from Georgia, US 278 bypasses downtown North Augusta, South Carolina to the south en route to Beech Island and Johnson Crossroads. It then forms a de facto northern boundary of the Savannah River Site, crossing into the property on a few occasions. The route then continues eastward and then southward through the communities of Barnwell, Kline, Allendale, Fairfax, Hampton, Varnville, Ridgeland, and Hardeeville where it meets I-95. US 278 shares the route between Ridgeland and Hardeeville with US 17.
Upon reaching Hardeeville, the route heads eastward toward the Atlantic with large residential and commercial developments lining the spine of the road from Hardeeville through Okatie and Bluffton. The route crosses over Calibogue Sound onto Hilton Head Island. After a five-mile stretch in which the route is tolled, US 278 ends at US 278 Business on the southern portion of Hilton Head Island, just outside Sea Pines Plantation.
On Hilton Head Island, US 278 was previously routed along what is now US 278 Business until a new toll road, named the Cross Island Parkway, opened on January 16, 1998. The 6.8-mile (10.9 km) section of roadway cost $83 million to build and was funded with a combination of state funds, federal funds, state highway bonds and tolls.
The controlled access toll road has only one interchange along its route at Marshland Drive. It was the first toll road built in South Carolina in modern history. A majority of the road users pay their tolls using Palmetto Pass, South Carolina's system for electronic toll collection. Tolls will be removed once the bonds sold to build the road are retired.
The completion of the Cross Island Parkway (a direct expressway connection from the north side to the south side of the island) has caused a great amount of commercial and residential development along the road. Before the toll road opened, it could take one hour to travel the 12-mile (19 km) route of what was then signed as US 278 (William Hilton Parkway) during peak tourism season. The Cross Island Parkway greatly relieved congestion on that road when it opened.
Toll rates, for 2-axle vehicles, along Cross Island Parkway are $1.25 at the toll plaza and $1.00 at the Marshland Road/Spanish Wells Road interchange. Each additional axle is $1.00 (plaza and ramps). The toll plaza has both electronic toll collection (ETC) and cash lanes, which are manned 24 hours a day; Marshland Road/Spanish Wells Road interchange accept only ETC or exact change only. Those that do not have exact change or do not pay the toll have five days to contact the Cross Island Parkway Customer Service Center to make a payment; after that time, a violation notice will be mailed. Travelers that make a mistake of taking the toll road may request a "Turn Around Pass", which gives them ten minutes to continue along the highway, turn around at the roundabout and return the pass at the toll plaza on the return trip.
Only the Palmetto Pass is accepted on the Cross Island Parkway.
US 278 was established, in South Carolina, in 1965, traveling from Augusta, Georgia to Hilton Head Island. Crossing the Savannah River, in concurrency with US 1/US 25/US 78/SC 121, it then overlapped with SC 125 on Atomic Road, to Beech Island. Replacing SC 28 from Beech Island to Almeda, where it then replaced SC 128, going through Ridgeland, to Old House. Replacing part of SC 462, it went south into Bluffton and then east into Hilton Head Island, replacing part of SC 46.
Throughout the 1980s, US 278 was widen to four-lane, in phases, east of SC 170, in Bluffton. In 1996-1997, US 278 was rerouted south of Ridgeland to Hardeeville, then east on new primary routing to SC 170, in Bluffton. Its former routing was replaced by SC 336 to Old House and SC 462 to SC 170. In 1998, US 278 was rerouted onto new routing along the west side of Hilton Head Island; known as the Cross Island Parkway, the toll road provides quicker access to the far south end of the island. The old alignment, in Hilton Head Island, became US 278 Business.
|Aiken||North Augusta||0.0||0.0||south / south / west / west / west / south - Augusta||Continuation from Georgia over the Savannah River|
|0.2||0.32||5th Street Bridge / River North Drive|
|0.7||1.1||/ north - North Augusta, Edgefield||North end of US 25 and SC 121 overlap|
|1.5||2.4||(Palmetto Parkway) - Augusta, Columbia, Atlanta||I-520 exit 17.|
|Clearwater||2.3||3.7|| / / north - Aiken, North Augusta
north (Augusta Road) - Clearwater
|East end of US 1/US 78 and north end of SC 125 overlap|
|Beech Island||7.2||11.6||west (Sand Bar Ferry Road) / south (Atomic Road) - Savannah River Site, Augusta||South end of SC 125 overlap|
|13.4||21.6||(Silver Bluff Road) - Jackson, Aiken|
|New Ellenton||19.6||31.5||- New Ellenton, Aiken, Savannah River Site|
|28.9||46.5||east - Williston, Charleston|
|41.0||66.0||north - Elko, Williston|
|Barnwell||43.3||69.7||west (Dunbarton Boulevard) - Savannah River Site||West end of SC 64 overlap|
|43.6||70.2||east (Allen Street) / Dunbarton Boulevard - Denmark|
|43.9||70.7||east (Hagood Avenue) - Walterboro||East end of SC 64 overlap|
|45.2||72.7||north (Marlboro Avenue) - Columbia||North end of SC 3 overlap|
|46.5||74.8||south - Sylvania||South end of SC 3 overlap|
|46.8||75.3||south - Ulmer|
|Allendale||Allendale||60.4||97.2||north (Burton's Ferry Highway) - Walterboro||North end US 301 overlap; to USC Salkehatchie|
|60.7||97.7||south (Main Street) / north (Railroad Avenue) - Savannah River Site, Augusta, Sylvania||South end US 301 overlap|
|Fairfax||66.2||106.5||(Hampton Avenue) - Estill, Savannah, Orangeburg, Columbia||To USC Salkehatchie|
|Hampton||Hampton||75.1||120.9||west (Shaw Drive) - Lake Warren State Park||West end SC 363 overlap|
|75.3||121.2||north (Hoover Street) - Orangeburg||North end US 601 overlap|
|75.9||122.1||south (First Street) - Estill, Savannah||South end US 601 overlap|
|76.1||122.5||east (Third Street) - Walterboro, Charleston||East end SC 363 overlap|
|Varnville||77.9||125.4||east (Main Street) - Walterboro|
|Almeda||80.1||128.9||east (Yemassee Highway) - Yemassee|
|Jasper||Grays||91.6||147.4||north (Heritage Road) - Early Branch|
|Gillisonville||96.5||155.3||west (Gillison Branch Road) - Pineland||West end SC 462 overlap|
|97.3||156.6||east (Morgandollar Road) - Coosawhatchie||East end SC 462 overlap|
|102.1||164.3||west (Calf Pen Bay Road) - Pineland|
|Ridgeland||106.4||171.2||north (Jacob Smart Boulevard) - Charleston||North end US 17 overlap|
|106.6||171.6||(Main Street) - Tillman, Beaufort, Hilton Head Island|
|108.9||175.3||To - Savannah, Florence|
|Hardeeville||119.2||191.8||south (Whyte Hardee Boulevard) - Hardeeville||South end US 17 overlap|
|119.5||192.3||- Savannah, Florence||I-95 exit 8.|
|124.5||200.4||Argent Boulevard - Beaufort|
|Beaufort||127.4||205.0||(Okatie Highway) - Savannah, Beaufort||To Parris Island|
|133.2||214.4||west (Bluffton Road) - Bluffton|
|Bluffton||137.7||221.6||Bluffton Parkway||No direct access from US 278 eastbound to Bluffton Parkway or Bluffton Parkway to US 278 westbound|
|Hilton Head Island||140.8||226.6||
east (William Hilton Parkway)
|To Hilton Head Airport|
|143.1||230.3||Marshland Road / Spanish Wells Road||Eastbound exit toll|
west (William Hilton Parkway) / Greenwood Drive / Pope Avenue
|Roundabout; to Coligny Beach|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi