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I-20 WB to begin lane shift Saturday

Posted: November 14, 2013 5:56 p.m.
Updated: November 15, 2013 5:00 a.m.

Kershaw County residents who regularly drive to Columbia on I-20 in northeast Richland County need to be aware that the S.C. Department of Transportation’s (SCDOT) ongoing project to widen the interstate will shift to the westbound lanes beginning Saturday.

According to a SCDOT press release, the westbound lanes on I-20 will shift between the Spears Creek Church Road and I-77 exits. Eastbound I-20 traffic has returned to a normal, two-lane configuration.

The new phase of the project will remove and reconstruct the existing westbound concrete lanes. To do this, traffic will be shifted onto newly constructed inside lanes.

Similarly to the eastbound shift, the westbound shift will split motorists into two separate lanes of traffic bordered by concrete barriers. The right lane will travel adjacent to 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 and Clemson roads exits, but will be able to access the Alpine Road and I-77 exits.

This means motorists planning to exit at Spears Creek Church or Clemson roads exits 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 marker 83, which is approximately one mile before the Spears Creek Church Road exit, and end at mile marker 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 three to four months. Once the westbound lanes are complete, the lanes will be shifted to the outside in a normal configuration.

SCDOT officials said the traffic pattern shift is part of “innovative planning” by the contractor to expedite the project, which was originally estimated to last three years, and reduce it to 600 days, or approximately 20 months.

Motorists are reminded of the “Steer It and Clear It” law which states that if a driver of a vehicle is involved in a crash resulting only in damage to the 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 about the project, contact SCDOT Assistant Resident Engineer Paul Miller at (803) 419-3995.

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