DOT:  Highway message boards "secure" after collapse from 18-wheeler accident

DOT:  Highway message boards "secure" after collapse from 18-wheeler accident

NORTH CHARLESTON (WCSC) - An 18-wheeler crashed into a digital message board Wednesday, shutting down lanes along I-526W into the morning rush hour Thursday

A spokesman with the North Charleston Police Department said the 18-wheeler was headed westbound near Rivers Avenue when it struck the message board, causing it to fall.

The board, which weighs as many as 6000 pounds, fell onto the trailer the tractor was hauling.  No one was hurt.

James Law, a spokesman for the South Carolina Department of Transportation, said even with Wednesday's accident, highway message boards across the Lowcountry are secure.

"You're not going to knock them down unless there is some tremendous force," he said.    "I don't think you can build them against anything being able to knock them down."

Law said it could be several days before the message board is removed from the shoulder along 526, and didn't have a definitive timeline on when it would be fixed or replaced.

The message board could cost up to $150,000, and guardrail along the highway was also destroyed.

The DOT spokesman said drivers will still have access to the same information on other digital message boards along lowcountry highways, which often include Amber alerts or evacuation routes.

Law said digital boards are reinforced on both sides of the road, using concrete and topped off with steel, with guardrails serving as a protector measure between vehicles and the 6000-lb structure.

"As well as they are put up, a car is not going to do the kind of damage you see here," he said.

Police have not said if the driver of the 18-wheeler will face charges, or what caused the accident.

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