The S.C. Department of Transportation enabled two-way traffic on Interstate 526 eastbound lanes over the Wando River bridge to alleviate congestion following the closure of the westbound lanes last week.
An inspection of the westbound bridge revealed one of its eight main cables had snapped, causing the DOT to close the bridge on May 14. Repairs to the cable and investigations as to what happened are underway. The westbound lanes are set to reopen on June 11.
Gov. Henry McMaster requested that the DOT enable two-way traffic on the eastbound lanes. Dump trucks and road graders began lining up and working to create crossover lanes on both sides of the bridge late last week, and DOT workers put up barricades to separate the lanes Sunday, enabling two-way traffic on the bridge this morning.
Traffic leading up to the bridge remains congested. DOT engineers estimated that drivers experienced an additional 40 minutes of travel time during rush hour Monday morning.
“The I-526 two-way traffic pattern operated as expected during Monday morning’s rush hour traffic,” the DOT said in a statement. “Traffic moved steadily throughout the area.”
Speeds are reduced to 45 miles per hour on the bridge. Officials said drivers should plan for additional time to reach their destinations.