May 24 eastbound I-26 traffic (copy)

Traffic crawls in the eastbound lane on Interstate 26 near West Montague Avenue in North Charleston recently. File/Andrew Whitaker/Staff

The state Department of Transportation is having a meeting Tuesday in North Charleston to consider ways to improve Interstate 26.

The drop-in meeting, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at City Hall, 2500 Mall Drive, will include displays of a corridor management plan for I-26 from S.C. Highway 27 (Exit 187) to U.S. Highway 17 (Exit 221).

The plan will develop improvement strategies for all corridors within the study area, possibly including:

  • Strategies to reduce the overall travel demand, or shift demand out of the peak travel periods, including ride sharing, telecommuting and compressed work weeks.
  • Low-cost improvements to improve the use of the existing roads and safety, incident management improvements and traffic signal upgrades.
  • High-occupancy managed lanes or high-occupancy toll managed lane construction projects to add to the capacity.

Strategies will be evaluated based on travel time improvements, crash reduction factors and environmental impact reductions.

Written and verbal comments will be collected at the meeting.

The stretch from Jedburg to Harleyville was labeled a "high-crash corridor" in 2010. A Post and Courier analysis found that mile per mile, that section had nearly twice as many fatal wrecks than through Charleston and North Charleston, even though traffic is two to three times heavier in the Charleston metro area.

In 2011, the stretch was resurfaced and markers similar to rumble strips and a wider shoulder were installed on the left edge of the road.

The interchange of Interstates 26 and 526, which falls within the overall study area for the Corridor Management Plan project, is being evaluated as a standalone project know as I-526 Lowcountry Corridor and is not part of this meeting’s discussions.

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Reach Brenda Rindge at 843-937-5713. Follow her on Twitter @brindge.

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