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March 29
SCDOT Plans Weekend Closure of I-26 between US 1 and US 378 in Lexington County

SCDOT to accelerate the removal of the severely damaged Leaphart Road Bridge

The South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) will close Interstate 26 between US 1 and US 378 on Saturday, April 1, 2017 beginning at 10 p.m.  The closure is expected to last 12 hours, ending on Sunday, April 2 at 10 a.m.

The closure is designed to expedite the removal of the Leaphart Road Bridge.  This bridge suffered significant structural damage on Friday, March 24th. The bridge was struck by a truck hauling an illegal, oversized load.  This hit is the fourth one sustained by the structure in 2017. Further the Leaphart Road overpass has taken over a dozen known hits since 2015. SCDOT’s bridge inspectors reviewed the bridge immediately following the latest hit on March 24. The decision was made at that time to permanently close to traffic.  Additional inspections and review by SCDOT’s top bridge engineer recommended an accelerated removal of the damaged structure.

State Highway Engineer Leland Colvin said, “SCDOT is implementing this aggressive approach to ensure the safety of the motoring public.  Additional hits on this bridge could pose a threat to motorists on I-26.”

Colvin added, “The closure time frame was selected because of lower overnight traffic volumes and to have minimal impact on traffic.”  SCDOT will advise motorists of the pending closure on its existing variable message signs, 511 traveler information system, and social media.

SCDOT has coordinated with the State Transport Police for increased patrol of this section of interstate to identify illegal, oversized loads.

Motorists seeking additional information or guidance during the closure can call SCDOT’s Customer Service Center which will be staffed from 9 p.m. on Saturday until 12 noon on Sunday. The Customer Service Center may be reached toll free at 855-GO-SCDOT (855-467-2368) The local number in Columbia is  803-737-2314.

SCDOT engineers and signal crews will monitor the detour routes during the I-26 closure.  Traffic signals and signing will be evaluated and staff stands ready to make adjustments.  In addition, State Highway Emergency Program (SHEP) responders will patrol the detour routes throughout the night to offer assistance and minimize congestion.

Motorists traveling between the Upstate to the Lowcountry on I-26 will use I-77 and I-20 to travel around Columbia.  This detour will add approximately 10 miles and 20 minutes to typical travel times. 

Westbound motorists traveling from Charleston will be able to access the interchanges at US 321/US21 (Exit 115), SC 302(Exit 113), and US 1 (Exit 111).  All westbound traffic will exit I-26 at US 1.

Eastbound vehicles moving from the Upstate towards the Lowcountry will be able to access I-126 (Exit 108) and US 378 (Exit 110).  All eastbound traffic will exit I-26 at US 378.

Detailed travel directions for popular destinations are available at this link:

http://www.scdot-transfer.org/scdotphotos/LeaphartBridgeI26Detour.pdf​

A replacement bridge for Leaphart Road is currently under construction and scheduled to be completed by the end of this year.  SCDOT and our contractor, Crowder Construction, continue studying all options to expedite the completion of the new bridge.

SCDOT apologizes for this inconvenience.  Ensuring the safety of the motoring public remains our top priority.  Removing the damaged Leaphart Road bridge in a 12-hour period is the safest path forward.

Motorists are advised to consider alternate routes and to expect traffic congestion during this emergency closure. SCDOT urges motorists to use caution when traveling. Traffic conditions are available at SCDOT’s 511 traveler information system: http://www.511sc.org/

Photos of the Leaphart Road Bridge crossing I-26 in Lexington County are available at this link:

http://www.scdot-transfer.org/scdotphotos/LeaphartBridgeI26/

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