Hurricane lane reversal exercises scheduled for Wednesday

Published: Jun. 2, 2008 at 6:04 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 17, 2008 at 8:01 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The South Carolina Department of Public Safety and other state agencies will conduct a hurricane evacuation exercise on Wednesday, June 4th.

The goal is to test lane reversal plans.

The one day hurricane evacuation exercise is part of a two day state hurricane exercise that will be conducted by the South Carolina Department of Public Safety in cooperation with the South Carolina Department of Transportation.

Law enforcement personnel and traffic control devices will be deployed on I-26, U.S. 501 and U.S. 278 as if the roads were reversed for a hurricane evacuation.

Lanes will not be reversed as a part of the exercise.

The exercise should not interfere with the flow of traffic. Intersections will not be blocked, and motorists will be allowed to move freely; however, the highway patrol cautions motorists traveling I-26, U.S. 501 and U.S. 278 to exercise due care and be aware that law enforcement officers and DOT employees will be located on the shoulder of the highway and at various exits.

The South Carolina Highway Patrol, South Carolina Emergency Management Division, State Law Enforcement Division, Department of Transportation, Department of Natural Resources, South Carolina Forestry Commission, Civil Air Patrol, SC National Guard and Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services will be participating in the exercise. The exercise will last from 8 am to 5pm.

As would happen during an actual hurricane, the lane reversal simulation will begin at the intersection of I-526 and I-26 in Charleston and will end at I-77 and I-26 in Columbia. The U.S. 501 exercise will begin near Conway at SC22 and end at SC 576 and Marion Bypass. The U.S. 278 exercise in Beaufort County will begin at Spanish Wells Road/ Cross Island Parkway and end at Interstate 95 (Exit 8).

Law enforcement officers will be deployed to cover a number of highway interchanges between these points. DOT will supply barricades, cones and other traffic control devices needed to reconfigure the interstate into a one-way operation. Aircraft will be deployed along selected evacuation routes as part of the exercise.

Hurricane season began June 1 and ends November 30.

Posted by Bryce Mursch