Roads: Travel conditions vastly improved

cleblanc@thestate.comJanuary 28, 2014 

  • The number of calls to the state Highway Patrol overnight rose 84 times compared to the same time a year ago when there was no winter storm.

    Overall total calls for service across S.C.: 1,475 last night; 174 one year ago

    Collisions: 817 last night; 89 a year ago.

    Stranded motorist: 339 last night; 55 a year ago.

    Abandoned vehicles: 77 last night; 24 a year ago.

    The remainder are a range of calls to the patrol.

    *Compares 4 p.m. Jan. 28 to 4 a.m. Jan. 29.

    SOURCE: S.C. Department of Public Safety

UPDATE: 3:06 pm

The Springdale police department warns below freezing temperatures expected overnight may create icy roads Thursday morning. Bridges along Platt Springs Rd and Rainbow Dr. remain particularly treacherous Wednesday afternoon with ice and snow buildups. -- staff reports

See video here

Frozen slush, freezing air temperatures and motorists heading to work or running errands are resulting in more wrecks, the state Highway Patrol said Wednesday morning.

"The interstates right now are probably in the best shape (but) a good many of the ramps still need to be treated (with salt and sand)," said patrol Lt. Kelley Hughes.

The patrol handled about 200 collisions or stranded motorists between 2 a.m. and 9 a.m., Hughes said, adding the rate of incidents accelerated as people hit roadways after sun-up.

"Secondary roads are not in good shape," the spokesman said.

That corroborated Lexington County administrator Joe Mergo's assement at 8:15 a.m. that no county road-clearing vehicles had been dispatched to roads in the interior of the county.

Lexington has an agreement with the state Transportation Department to dispatch its 18 motorgraders first to interstate highways and ramps, Mergo said. The county is fully reimbursed for those expenses, he said.

A couple of the ramps at Malfunction Junction were closed for 30 to 40 minutes around 9 a.m. because of collisions caused by re-frozen snow and sleet, Hughes said.

Across the state, troopers worked 1,240 incidents, the patrol spokesman said.

Motorists driving to the Lowcountry are advised to be careful, especially after they get farther south than Orangeburg County.

"There are some roads that are just sheets of ice," Hughes said of I-26 and I-95 in Dorchester, Colleton, Charleston, Berkeley and Beaufort counties.

Drivers should be even more careful when they get to lower-lying parts of roads because those spots tend to be more slick, Hughes said.

Because temperatures are unlikely to get much higher than freezing on Wednesday, the patrol continues to advise motorists to avoid driving if possible and to travel slower than the posted speed limits.

Here is a look at roadway conditions across the Midlands as of 4:56pm.

Information from S.C. Department of Transportation.

Incident TypeStatusDateTimeCountyLocation
COLLISION:NO INJURYIN PROGRESS1/29/201414:50KERSHAWI20EB 85MM [KERSHAW COUNTY]
TRAFFIC LIGHT DEFECTIN PROGRESS1/29/201415:31RICHLANDBARBARA DR [RICHLAND COUNTY] x[TWO NOTCH RD]

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