The South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) announces a major traffic shift planned for the Interstate 20 widening project in Northeast Richland County.
Beginning 12:01 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 17, the new traffic shift will affect westbound I-20 from Spears Creek Church Road to Interstate 77. The eastbound I-20 traffic has been returned to two-lane operation in a normal configuration.
The next phase of the project is to remove and reconstruct the existing westbound concrete lanes. To do this, traffic will be shifted onto the newly constructed inside lanes.
This shift will split the westbound motorists into two separate lanes of traffic bordered by concrete barriers. The right lane will travel adjacent to the westbound lanes and will be able to access all existing exits. The left lane will travel adjacent to the eastbound lanes and will bypass the Spears Creek Church Road and Clemson Road exits, but will have access to the Alpine Road and I-77 exits.
This means motorists planning to exit at Spears Creek Church Road or Clemson Road should choose the right lane when the shift begins prior to the Spears Creek Church Road exit. The traffic split will occur at approximately mile point 83 and ends at mile point 77.
Advance signage and roadside message boards will be in place to guide motorists through this traffic shift. In addition, highway advisory radio messages will be broadcast with this information.
This traffic pattern will be in place for approximately 3 to 4 months. Once the westbound lanes are complete, the westbound lanes will be shifted back to the outside in a normal configuration.
The traffic pattern shift is part of innovative planning by the contractor to expedite the project, originally estimated at 3 years, to 600 days (approximately 20 months).
Motorists should be reminded of the "Steer It and Clear It" law which states that if a driver of a vehicle is involved in a crash resulting in only damage to a vehicle, and if that vehicle is obstructing traffic, the driver of the vehicle shall make every reasonable effort to move the vehicle out of the travel way.
For more information concerning this project, the public may contact SCDOT Assistant Resident Construction Engineer Paul Miller at (803) 419-3995.