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Columbia's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Columbia, South Carolina | WLTX.com

Hurricane lane reversal exercises completed Thursday

No traffic lanes were actually reversed during this exercise.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina Department of Public Safety, along with a number of other state and local agencies, conducted a hurricane evacuation exercise on Thursday, June 25, to test lane reversal plans for all three major coastal areas of the state. 

The hurricane evacuation exercise is designed to test lane reversal plans for Interstate 26, U.S. 21, U.S. 278, U.S. 501 and S.C. 544 in the event of a coastal evacuation order. 

Personnel and equipment from the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, the South Carolina Department of Transportation, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, the South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole and Pardons, the South Carolina Forestry Commission, the Civil Air Patrol and the South Carolina Army National Guard participate in the exercise.

The exercise simulated reversal operations on U.S. 278 and U.S. 21. The deployment of equipment and personnel was made on these roads leading out of Hilton Head and Beaufort. SCDOT equipment was stationed on U.S. 278 from Almeda to Hampton in Hampton County.

Law enforcement personnel and traffic control devices was deployed on Interstate 26 from the intersection of the 197 mm (Nexton Parkway) and I-26 in Charleston to I-77 and I-26 in Columbia.

Traffic control equipment and personnel was stationed on U.S. 501 beginning at S.C. 544 and ending at U.S. 378 as well as between S.C. 22 and the Marion By-Pass.

Aerial units from SLED, the Civil Air Patrol, the South Carolina Army National Guard, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources and the South Carolina Forestry Commission were flying assigned aerial surveillance routes. 

Lanes were not reversed as a part of the exercise.

Officials say the exercise should not have interfered with the flow of traffic. Intersections were not blocked, and motorists were allowed to move freely. However, the Highway Patrol cautioned motorists traveling I-26, U.S. 501, and S.C. 544 as well as U.S. 278 and U.S. 21 to exercise due caution and be aware that law enforcement officers and state personnel will be located on the shoulder of the highway and at exits. 

The exercise lasted from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.