Crosstown construction causing headaches for drivers

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Driving through the Crosstown construction is a traffic nightmare for some drivers. Vehicles have been sitting at a stand-still because of drainage work and on the Ashley River bridges have not been much better.

Lane closures, orange cones, and red tail lights are becoming routine for drivers who take the Crosstown and the traffic will not be going anywhere until May.

"There was a lot of grumbling at work about that," said driver Kim Stone.

Stone says visiting her mother at MUSC has been tougher than usual with the crowded Crosstown and it's not just the traffic that is an inconvenience.

"Since I wasn't traveling in rush hour it's more so the anxiety associated if you're not going in the right place or what's happening with the traffic," Stone said.

During rush hour, expect to tack on at least 15 to 20 minutes on your drive. That's how long it took a Live 5 News reporter to get from the Ashley River Bridges to the Ravenel Bridge on Wednesday.

Two lanes are closed on the Septima Clark Parkway. Charleston Mayor Joe Riley says the worst of the traffic will be over within six months.

"The second phase will not require any permanent lane closures," Riley said.

The city created to show alternate routes and a schedule of the construction. If you're heading downtown from West Ashley, the website suggests you take Cannon Street to avoid gridlock traffic. Heading downtown from Mt. Pleasant? Exit on Meeting Street and then turn right on Spring Street.

"We did hope that with the information of the alternate routes that we could alleviate the congestion and I think we have substantially done so," Riley said.

The $154 million project has most of its funding. Earlier this week, Riley announced the city received $25 million for phase two of the project. He says the city is waiting to hear back from the State Infrastructure Bank about funding for the final phase.

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