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Drivers Stuck On I-20 When Car Breaks Down

8:01 PM, Dec 31, 2013   |    comments
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Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- We've all seen it before--someone's car breaks down in the middle of the highway and they have to move over. But what happens if they're on Interstate 20 and there's nowhere to go?

"If the roadway is blocked or if there's serious injury we're going to respond immediately and as fast as possible," L. Cpl. David Jones said.

Monday night around 8 p.m. drivers were blocked in on I-20 westbound because a car broke down in the construction zone.

"From Spears Creek Road westbound, before and after Spears Creek is this little area where there really isn't anywhere to pull over," Jones said.

In about two hours, the road was clear.

After speaking with DOT about the narrow lanes, I-20 Widening Project Manager Paul Miller said that in case of a road block troopers call the construction company to move those barriers.

"We rely heavily on that. It's this little area that we have plans in place and we try and utilize every resource possible," he said.

Miller also told News19 that the delay was because the contractors are in the middle of a holiday restriction until January 3rd, meaning no one was actively working at the site.

Troopers say if this ever happens to you, stay put.

"If they encounter a situation where they're stuck in traffic, to please remain inside their vehicle," Jones said. "Never take the chance of getting out especially on an interstate, whether it's a construction zone or not, because you never know what the person in behind you or in front of you may decide to do."

The SCDOT also has the 511 app and website that can give drivers information on current driving conditions.

Construction on I-20 West will be complete in about three months, but by then, eastbound will be a little more narrow.

"It's going to take a little while to get the construction complete, but during this time please be patient," Jones said.

Motorists can call *HP if a vehicle is blocking the road.

The I-20 widening project has a tentative completion date of May 24.

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