DOT seeking funding for lights out on I-526 in North Charleston, drivers concerned

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - It's been more than two years since the lights were working on a portion of I-526 in North Charleston leading up to the Don Holt Bridge.

The Department of Transportation says the electrical lines have deteriorated which caused the lights not to work. DOT officials estimate replacing them could cost more than one million dollars. At this time there is no funding for the repairs.

The Charleston representative for the Department of Transportation says they've formed a committee to narrow down the costs of fixing the lights and find sources of funding.

Dennis Emma says it's a busy portion of I-526.

"It's very congested with all the semi-trucks going on and it only takes one accident and it really backs up for like an hour or two," Emma said.

Though there's not as much traffic when it's dark, Emma believes the lack of lights is a safety hazard.

"You have to be careful you have to know what you're doing," Emma said. "If it's raining or something like that you just have to be especially prepared  and then you see all these people on their phones texting and things like that."

The city of North Charleston released the following statement:

"The unrepaired lights along 526 pose a major safety risk for motorist, especially stalled motorist. However, SCDOT has directed staff to engage a consultant to expedite the process and address the safety concern.  Until the repairs are made, we urge motorist to use extra caution while traveling along 526."

Mayor or North Charleston Keith Summey has been vocal about the need for DOT to fix the lights.

Austin Parson says he also thinks it poses a safety risk.

"It's definitely hazardous and especially if you're driving home at night and someone's car lights couldn't be working you could be driving and possibly run into somebody," Parson said.

There is no set timeline on when the lights will be fixed, but DOT says it's working on a solution.

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