Locals and regular drivers at the Lowcountry highways have reported numerous times that the lights on the Lowcountry highways sometimes go out.
The problem was initially reported in August 2020 and from what is seen lately, the issue hasn’t been resolved yet.
According to ABC News 4, the lights went off again on I-26, I-526, The Ravanel Bridge and the James Island Connector on Thursday.
“One thing that was a cause for concern was the long stretch on 526 between I-26 and Daniel Island. There’s over 70 lights out in that area,” said ABC News Traffic Expert Trooper Bob.
It remains unclear why the problem is not solved yet since with the lights out safety concerns grow every time. The lights are especially important for the early morning and evening hours.
“What if your family member was broken down at night time, raining and someone is approaching them at interstate speeds in an area that shout be lit, but it’s not lit up,” said Trooper Bob.
According to the SCDOT, the issue happens again and again because the electrical components fail over time. They added that whenever the issue happens, teams are out and the lights issue is solved quickly.
“Maintaining our highway lighting is a continuous effort, so those lights may go out from time to time due to the fact that it’s outdoors and it varies by weather,” said Brittany Harrior, Public Information Coordinator SCDOT.
In most of the cases engineering teams solve the issues very fast, but in some occasions, there are complications and it takes more time to be fixed.
“Time frames for repairs vary on each location. Median barrier light or bridge lighting requires more complex traffic control then shoulder mounted lighting,” said Harrior.
Money also plays a factor.
“Therefore repairs are strategically targeted to balance cost effectiveness, and time effectiveness of the repair,” said Harrior.
As of now, there is no clear timeframe when SCDOT will permanently fix this problem. What we ask drivers is to pay extra caution when highway lights are out especially in the early morning and evening hours.
Once more details from SCDOT are available, we will update the case.