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Drivers face traffic nightmare on Devine Street in Columbia

Six lanes are now down to two, with drivers having to merge on Devine Street until they reach the light at Rosewood Drive.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — A water main break last week has local drivers feeling like they are driving an obstacle course on Devine Street as they head toward Garners Ferry Boulevard.

It's also got drivers asking when all six lanes will be back open again. 

Every day thousands of motorists drive along this portion of Devine Street, but that commute is being slowed down due to a water main break, resulting in traffic chaos.

RELATED: Water leak reroutes traffic on Devine Street in Columbia

The City of Columbia is responsible for the repairs. Robert Yanity with Columbia Water says contractors have been awarded the bid, and repairs started Tuesday.

"We had a water main break, an eight inch pipe last week," Yanity said. "It impacted a big area there."

The traffic issues have affected area merchants, who say their business is down. 

"Right now, it's just repairing the road, wherever there was damage to the road itself from the water," Yanity said. "We have to go in and take that out, fix the asphalt and the sub dirt underneath it."

RELATED: South Carolina gets $9.5 million for water and wastewater infrastructure improvements

With cold temperatures predicted, Yanity says repair work could be delayed. "Asphalt doesn't go down well in colder temperatures."

The South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) is pitching in to help. "SCDOT has just provided them with cones to help with traffic control," said SCDOT spokesperson Brittany Harriot.

The six lanes are now down to two, with drivers having to merge on Devine Street until they reach the light at Rosewood Drive.  

The city says repairs could cost upwards of a $140,000 and it's not going to be a quick fix. "It could be up to two or three weeks," Yanity said.

Columbia Police reported a collision last Thursday evening, but cannot say whether it's the direct result of the water main break.

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