You weren’t imagining all the extra traffic onto Hilton Head Island this week.
Traffic data from the South Carolina Department of Transportation suggests abnormally high traffic on U.S. 278 entering the island in the late morning and leaving the island in the early evening during the first work week following Hurricane Matthew.
SC DOT tracks eastbound and westbound traffic on U.S. 278 as it passes by Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge. It tracks three-month averages for every hour of every day of the week.
At times, there were more than 1,000 more vehicles on the road during rush hour this week than the three-month average as work trucks and recovery crews crowded the causeway.
The week’s traffic data shows:
On Oct. 17, the biggest difference between traffic and the three-month average for traffic onto the island occurred between 9 and 10 a.m. During that hour, 749 more vehicles entered the island than the historic average.
The biggest difference with the historic average for westbound traffic off the island came later in the day: between 6 and 7 p.m. During that time, 1,178 more vehicles left the island than the historic average for that hour.
This was a trend that repeated itself throughout the week with traffic far outpacing the historic average.
On Tuesday, 832 more vehicles crossed the measuring point from 10 to 11 a.m. than the historic average. Then, 496 more vehicles left westbound from 5 to 6 p.m. than the historic average.
On Wednesday, 661 more cars went east from 9 to 10 a.m. than the historic average. That afternoon, 654 more vehicles went west off the island from 5 to 6 p.m. than the average.
On Thursday, 815 more vehicles went east from 10 to 11 a.m. than the average. That evening, 619 more vehicles went west from 6 to 7 p.m. than the average.
On Friday morning, 899 more vehicles entered the island on U.S. 278 going eastbound from 9 to 10 a.m. than the average.