Traffic problems start as bridge run approaches


CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV)--If you were driving anywhere near downtown Charleston Friday, you learned a few things. One--that traffic was a nightmare. And two--it's only a sign of what's to come Saturday--even more traffic.

All over the Holy City, police carefully guided drivers through traffic with this year's bridge expo underway.

"We'll be right back out here Saturday at 4:30 in the morning," said Captain Chip Searson with Charleston Police Department.

The event generated not only large crowds but low fuses for many drivers trapped in the organized chaos.

"We learned some new hand gestures," laughed Jennifer Ellenberg visiting the lowcountry from North Carolina. "We sat at an exit for like 45 minutes."

Jeanna Wilson's driving experience was no different.

"It's just insane here. The traffic is crazy," said Wilson from upstate South Carolina. "They'll (other drivers) cut you off in a heart beat to get to where they got to get because they've been waiting just as long as you have."

Several highly traveled streets that temporarily closed to traffic early Friday will be closed again tomorrow.

"There are various road closures that start around 5 a.m.," said Searson.

Searson also says they've been working on traffic flow plans for tomorrow--for three months. Some of those road closures will include portions of Calhoun, Meeting, King, and Wentworth Street.

"Starting really on the off ramp of Huger Street, we'll have officers at every intersection and sometimes a street or so back from every intersection trying to keep the traffic moving as smoothly as we can," said Searson.

While no brainer, Searson suggests drivers get to their destinations as soon as possible. Along with road closures, the bridge will close to traffic at 7 a.m. Towing along the race route will actually begin at 4 a.m. so make sure you're not parked illegally.

"We have sufficient staffing to not only handle this event but handle anything else that goes on," said Searson.

And with the big bridge event just hours away, some drivers offer one simple warning.

"If you don't have to be here, don't come," said Wilson.