COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Busy SCDOT workers in the Midlands are hoping for the best, but they're ready for the worst.
At the West Columbia maintenance yard, the word "busy" is an understatement. That's because the workers there will play a pivotal role in reversing I-26 between Charleston and Columbia.
The governor said Thursday it should happen Saturday morning around 10 a.m. At the West Columbia yard, workers have been stocking up supplies necessary for reversing I-26.
Earlier Thursday afternoon, several big palettes of sandbags arrived. Those sandbags will be used to anchor barricades – and some might be used to sop up some localized flooding as well.
Workers have gathered entire truckloads of traffic cones and barrels, too. Many of those workers were there last year when I-26 has reversed ahead of Hurricane Matthew.
"It does make us feel better that we have had more practice, but this is something that we practice every year, so we go through the run several times a year, as a matter of fact, on a statewide basis and a district-wide basis, to make sure we have our end done, but we certainly don't wish it, but we are thankful for the opportunities we get to practice the things that we know best," said Alan Kozusko, the acting District One Maintenance Engineer for SCDOT.
Saturday morning, if the evacuation holds, WIS is told a convoy will leave the West Columbia yard, regroup at a parking lot on SC-302, and then start the process of reversing I-26 where it meets I-77.
"It goes from here all the way to Charleston, so it has to be placed in order, and it has to be taken down in the reverse order, so when we start it here, it's one of the main time crunches that we're under to get our area secured, because this is where the traffic would start to come in," Kozusko said.