CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - South Carolina Highway Patrol and the South Carolina department of transportation have begun the process of breaking down the I-26 lane reversal.
All eastbound lanes are closed during the process. Columbia-bound traffic may still use I-26 westbound. The reversal is expected to take several hours until possibly 6 p.m.
The reversal was originally to end at noon so crews could seek shelter at safe locations outside of the storm’s projected path, SCDOT officials said, but was delayed by two hours
Gov. Henry McMaster ordered the reversal to be extended through 2 p.m. because of the number of people still using the reversed lanes to leave the Charleston area.
“We are still seeing high volumes of evacuees leaving Charleston,” the governor posted on his Twitter account, adding he had directed the SCDOT and the state’s Department of Public Safety to keep the reversal in place for an additional two hours.
Pete Poore with SCDOT say the traffic patterns on the reversed lanes will go back to normal once Highway Patrol flushes out traffic on the reversed lanes, which is roughly a four-hour process.
The reversal takes place at the interchange of I-26 and I-526 and continues west until the I-26 crossover to I-77 just outside Columbia in Lexington County.