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Total Eclipse - August 21, 2017

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  • SCDPS will have additional personnel assigned to interstate highways in those areas of high population density along the path of totality -- Greenville, Columbia, and Charleston. Additionally, SCDOT will have SHEP units in these areas and provide motorist information through its extensive Intelligent Transportation System. SCDOT plans to prohibit lane closures for construction and maintenance as a further mitigation measure for the anticipated congestion.  The traffic management plan will provide additional SCDPS personnel working in concert with SCDOT/SHEP and local first responders to assist with traffic incidents and congestion and managing anticipated increases in traffic volumes especially along stretches of interstate  highway.

  • Keeping the motoring public safe on the interstates is of particular concern during this event because of the influx of traffic coming into the state and because we want to prevent people from stopping on the interstate to view the eclipse. We cannot stress enough that motorists should not stop on the interstates and impede traffic during the eclipse event. Assigned personnel will monitor this and respond accordingly to ensure public safety.

  • The current plan, which can be fluid, shows the period of August 18-21 to be law enforcement’s primary emphasis. Motorists can expect to see an increased number of law enforcement personnel assigned on the roadways during this period, much like they would during a weather event. Additional personnel from SCHP Headquarters and the State Transport Police will be assigned from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on these days as well.

  • The current plan focuses on minimizing congestion through coordinated traffic management with SCDOT and local law enforcement agencies. The goal is to keep traffic moving and reduce congestion caused by disabled vehicles impeding traffic. Social media, local media, overhead message boards and involved state agency websites will play a key role in educating motorists and providing them with the tools they need to take alternate routes and avoid congested areas, especially if they do not want to be part of the eclipse activities but must travel during this time period. However,  our best planning will be to manage and mitigate the effects of a heavy traffic volume. We cannot prevent it completely. Motorists should expect traffic congestion and plan accordingly, especially if they have a work commute.  

  • Motorists should prepare for this event by taking personal precautions just as they would if they were going on a long trip or expect to be in traffic longer than usual. We would encourage motorists to bring cell phone chargers, snacks, water, medicines and other supplies in the event they are needed. SCDPS and SCDOT personnel will assist disabled motorists in obtaining a wrecker or similar mechanical help and, when necessary, take them to a point of safety.

  • Supplemental personnel from SCHP Headquarters and State Transport Police will be assigned to Interstate highways in areas of highest population density and traffic volumes along the path of totality and where the most eclipse related events are scheduled: Greenville, Columbia, and Charleston as well as the entire length of the Interstate 26 corridor.

  • It is reasonable to assume that usual commutes will take longer. Motorists should prepare for that possibility and  plan alternate routes when possible.


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