CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - You may want to give yourself a little extra time getting to work starting this weekend.
Saturday Charleston County will temporarily close the far right hand lane going northbound on the Ashley River Bridge.
It's phase two of the bicycle and pedestrian improvement project.
The lane will be closed for two months, 60 days, to monitor real time traffic on the bridge and confirm the findings of the previously completed traffic study, before moving forward with the project.
"Our traffic model showed a minimal impact of about eight seconds," said Richard Turner with Charleston County Transportation Development. "That's going to take a few weeks to get to that point where it's as good as it's going to be."
Drivers using the northbound Ashley River Bridge from Folly Road will see a new traffic pattern starting near Albemarle Road.
Those drivers coming from West Ashley will notice the changes once they merge onto the Ashley River Bridge.
"You may want to give yourself a few more minutes," Turner said. "We don't expect it to be a big impact, but folks are going to have to transition."
Staff is closing the lane during this time because they say it will give them the most accurate data since school and tourist season is in season.
No bicycles or walkers will be allowed on the bridge during the lane closure, for safety reasons.
"The barrier will not be a safe barrier between the vehicles traveling and the bikes and pedestrians traveling," Turner said. "The outside barrier isn't tall enough to prevent bicycles from flipping over. So we will keep that closed at this time."
To help offset the traffic, the new left hand turning lane onto Lockwood Drive will also open on Saturday.
Crews will begin putting orange barriers on the road starting at 2:00 p.m. Saturday.
The County is asking drivers to use caution when traveling in the area.
Part of the key benefits of this project, according to the County, are to connect downtown Charleston to the West Ashley Greenway, provide a safe alternative mode of transportation for commuters and visitor to Charleston, and provide a major connection for Battery 2 Beach Route and the East Coast Greenway.