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One of South Carolina’s most heavily traveled traffic arteries ground to a halt on Thursday evening as the Columbia, S.C. police department worked to prevent a suicide attempt on an Interstate overpass.

The  S.C. Highway Patrol shut down all lanes of Interstate 26 at the Harbison Boulevard exit at the request of the Columbia, S.C. police department (CPD) – whose officers were working to prevent an as-yet-unidentified man from trying to kill himself on the Harbison bridge.

“Negotiators convinced (the) man not to harm himself,” a CPD spokeswoman told FITS.

Initial reports on the cause of the shutdown were sketchy …

According to initial reports from The (Columbia, S.C.) State newspaper, the lane closings are due to “an obstruction in the roadway.” WLTX TV 19 (CBS – Columbia, S.C.) had much better information, reporting that the Highway Patrol had shut the lanes down so that a CPD officer could deal “with a situation on the bridge over the roadway.”