Reminder: Avoid the I-26 construction hassle this weekend

If you plan to take Interstate 26 out of Charleston after hanging out this weekend, you need a different exit strategy.

Two westbound lanes of the interstate in the Neck Area will be closed through 5 a.m. Monday for major repairs to the deteriorated Baker Hospital Boulevard overpass.

S.C. Department of Transportation crews will rip out old concrete and steel and install new support.

In the long run, it'll make commutes safer. But in the short term, it'll mean some lengthy back-ups as traffic is squeezed into one lane.

Transportation officials want motorists to avoid the overpass while the work is being done. Potential alternates: Take U.S. Highway 52 and get on I-26 at later interchanges in North Charleston, starting with Cosgrove Avenue.

With only one lane open at the mile marker 217 overpass, traffic there is sure to be congested. And with the weather expected to be balmier, folks will likely flock to the Holy City.

If you find yourself leaving town on that twisty stretch of I-26 anyway, be careful and patient.

With the construction only inches from traffic, it's important for everyone's safety to be extremely cautious, said DOT spokesman Pete Poore.

“We always advise people to drive the speed limit (in this case 45 mph) and to watch out for workers,” Poore said.