MT. PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) - Emergency crews have begun to implement traffic mitigation plans after SCDOT officials announced that the Wando River Bridge westbound closure was expected to last four weeks with an anticipated reopening date of June 11.
The lane diversions will be in effect during peak traffic hours in the morning and in the evening.
"We believe that this ramp modification will promote improved traffic flow westbound onto I-26, while at the same time developing new transportation patterns until the Wando River Bridge reopens on June 11," Mayor Haynie said.
The letter, released Thursday afternoon, orders state Transportation Sec. Christy Hall to allow two-way traffic in the eastbound lanes of the James B. Edwards Wando River Bridge while repairs are being made to the westbound side.
Charleston city officials said they have enacted flexible scheduling to reduce peak traffic, and are continuing to encourage employers throughout the city to utilize this option wherever possible.
"The Charleston Police Department continues utilizing additional personnel to assist motorists, and the Fire Department remains in contact with its partners to ensure continued coordination of resources," Charleston city officials said.
Between now and then, commuters must use the detours set up by SCDOT and devise a plan that suits them to best get around for the next month.
Mount Pleasant and City of Charleston of Charleston officials said Wednesday they would do what they could to help alleviate traffic including extra law enforcement controlling green light times and guiding traffic through affected areas.
The first detour takes drivers from Highway 17N to Highway 41, then to Clements Ferry Road and back to I-526.
The second goes from 17S across the Ravenel Bridge and out to I-26 westbound.
Mount Pleasant Police have been diverting westbound traffic on I-526 to Longpoint Road, according to Mount Pleasant Police Inspector Chip Googe.
No traffic will be allowed onto I-526 westbound from Longpoint Road, he said.
The Daniel Island Ferry is also running a commuter schedule. Click here for tickets.
City of Charleston officials are also putting up message boards downtown to help drivers get where they need to go. CARTA officials say they would be trying to adjust routes to meet up with the ferry from Daniel Island and increasing overall routes in the area where people need it the most.
Charleston County School District says buses will run as scheduled with delay notifications provided via the Remind App. Officials also encourage parents and staff throughout the district to allow for extra travel time.
Mount Pleasant mayor Will Haynie encouraged people to work from home if possible and for employers to offer flex hours.
SCDOT crews are working in three major areas with the first analyzing what exactly happened to cause the cable to come apart. Hall said crews are also working to clearly develop and implement a repair plan to get the bridge reopened as quickly as possible. The third item crews are focused on is working to make traffic flow better throughout the area.
While June 11 is the date SCDOT officials used Wednesday, they also offered up the possibility that the temporary fix may take longer or shorter amount of time. Meanwhile, drivers will have to make sure they're prepared for the long-term closure.