Speak up if you're sick of traffic on I-526

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- If you're sick of traffic now's the time to speak up.

The S.C. Department of Transportation is looking for a way to ease traffic, on Interstate 526, between Highway 17 and Rivers Avenue, and officials want to hear from you. Tuesday night officials will give the public the chance to talk about those frustrations with traffic on I-526.

The interstate gets busier every year, in both directions, especially near the Interstate-26 interchange. There are more cars and more people in them. But the SCDOT says those same people can help provide a solution.

"Traveling 526 everyday, they have a good idea and we learn a lot from peoples' ideas who drive it everyday," says Rick Day.

Day, with his firm Stantec, has sponsored a study with the DOT to figure out how to fix the flow. In high traffic spots, around 80,000 vehicles travel I-526 everyday, 10 percent of that number comes during peak hours. Using counters and radar they've tracked every one of those trucks and cars.

"You want to make sure you have a good idea how much travel is occurring out there as compared to capacity," Day says. "You also want to know what times of day it's happening."

The study is 25 percent complete. Right now DOT is considering four solutions.

"There's a lot of strategies we're looking at in terms of how we address it, we want to look at it in a comprehensive way," says Day.

They've talked about mass transit options for the area, ride sharing for companies nearby and there's also the possibility of more highway expansion. Day and his team have been able to test out these choices in a computer model. The model simulates how traffic may respond to each option.

It will also be on display for the public, Tuesday night.

"They're in their, they ride it everyday and I'm sure they have great ideas," he says. "And from other experiences like this we've heard great ideas from the public."

The public meeting, with a presentation from DOT starts Tuesday at North Charleston city hall, at 5:30 p.m. The I-526 study will continue through the winter.