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SCDOT participating in lane reversal drill today

Lexington County, SC 06/17/2021 - The South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) will participate in a statewide hurricane lane reversal drill tomorrow, Thursday, June 17.


No lanes will be closed during the drill, which will be from approximately 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.


SCDOT crews will be rehearsing the placement of traffic control devices along portions of I-26, between Columbia and Charleston; US 21 and US 278 in Beaufort County; and US 501 in Horry County.


Motorists are advised to use caution as SCDOT crews will be stationed along roadsides.

During this exercise, SCDOT Maintenance crews travel to pre-designated locations along these routes to deploy barrels and cones. Employees deploy the barrels on roadsides and shoulders for the drill so as not interrupt traffic, but during an actual hurricane lane reversal these barrels and cones would be used to safely manage evacuation traffic. During an actual evacuation, barrels would be deployed on the travel lanes, intersections and exits. Other SCDOT staff members are involved in monitoring the flow of traffic from the Traffic Management Centers and deploying traffic control devices such as message boards along the routes that would be reversed.


“Lane reversals are an important element to hurricane evacuations in South Carolina, especially with the tremendous growth along our beautiful coast,” Secretary of Transportation Christy Hall said. “Exercises like this will pay dividends should we need to implement the reversals in the future. Additionally, I encourage the public to visit www.scdot.org and view a short video we have produced to demonstrate the new and improved I-26 reversal plan.”


SCDOT in 2020 announced an updated plan for reversing lanes on I-26, which includes beginning the reversal at a median crossover near the Nexton Parkway, exit 197, instead of at I-526 as in past years. While this shortens the length of the reversal by 15 miles, it is expected to reduce traffic impacts for the Charleston area and be simpler for motorists to access the reversed side of I-26.


Motorists are encouraged to identify their evacuation routes well ahead of an actual evacuation, and can do so by SCDOT 511, www.511sc.org, by downloading the app or visiting www.scdot.org and selecting the travel tab.



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