Drivers should expect new traffic patterns 1-20 eastbound: SC DOT begins lane widening

LEXINGTON COUNTY, S.C. (WOLO) —Starting this weekend, drivers will expect to see some different traffic patterns driving eastbound on I-20.

As part of a larger project that will widen the lanes along I-20, the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) says this new configuration, which gives construction workers space to build two permanent eastbound lanes, will last for a year.

DOT officials say they will start preparing the lanes for this shift this week, and the new pattern should be in place as early as Saturday.

Starting at mile marker 53.5 until mile marker 60, drivers heading towards Columbia will be split into two lanes divided by a barrier as two new permanent eastbound lanes are constructed.

“The purpose of this project is congestion, as we know that Lexington County is certainly a very growing county and this part of the Secretary’s 10-year plan to eliminate some of the pinch points across South Carolina,” said Leland Colvin, the Deputy Secretary for Engineering for SCDOT.

Drivers will start to see evidence of the changes once they hit mile marker 49.

“There’s signage and various message boards in place that will alert traffic as they approach these lane shifts and they will indicate an express thru lane and and a local lane that can be used to exit that can be used on the two exits within this six mile section that will be shifted. The two interchanges within this section are the SC-6 interchange and the US-1 interchange,” said Robert Dickinson, the District One Engineering Administrator for SCDOT.

At mile marker 53.5, eastbound traffic will be split by the project’s permanent dividing barrier on one side and a temporary, movable divider on the other that can be broken down if emergency vehicles need to enter.

The divided lanes will continue until mile marker 60, when the road will expand to three lanes heading towards Columbia.

While work continues on the eastbound side, DOT officials want drivers to be alert and patient behind the wheel.

“We want you to slow down, be very attentive, do not be texting, certainly no drinking and driving, and be very, very aware. We’re going to have a lot of signage out there, we’re going to have rumble strips. As we’re working to get this traffic shift implemented, please slow down and be very attentive,” Colvin said.

DOT officials say this portion of the project should take a year to complete, when a similar pattern will begin on the westbound side. The whole I-20 widening project should be finished by Fall 2021.

For an expanded look at how the traffic patterns will look, click here.

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