STATE PORTS AUTHORITY CREATES “GATE-MAGEDDON” TRAFFIC MELTDOWN …
A new gate access system at a government-run S.C. State Ports Authority (SCSPA) facility is being blamed for ongoing traffic jams and several days of lost business in the South Carolina Lowcountry.
The traffic debacle has also prompted angry exchanges between state and local government entities eager to deflect blame.
“They are f*cking up traffic so bad,” one local official told us, referring to the SCSPA – adding that the agency provided “no warning to the local jurisdictions” regarding its new gate policy.
Local businesses were also caught completely off guard by the change – which has been backing traffic up for four straight days.
“We have lost a weeks worth of business due to no one being able to get here,” local business owner Sonya Buckhannon told us. “Semi trucks are backed up from the port to the paper mill on (Interstate) 526 and from the port to highway 17 on the other side of 526. They put some new system in that was to improve the port and make it faster for the drivers. Epic Fail!”
In fact several business owners are reportedly mulling legal action in an effort to “try to find a way for the port to pay for loss business.”
“None of us have heard from anyone at the port (about) when this would get fixed,” Buckhannon added.
“There is plenty of blame to go around,” one port insider told us. “Its not one single issue but a culmination of several issues that combined to create a perfect (shit)storm.”
The drama is centered around the SCSPA’s Wando terminal – which rolled out a new “advanced gate system” on June 18.
Clearly it wasn’t that advanced …
In fact, earlier this week the SCSPA began rerouting traffic away from the terminal due to “implementation issues and resulting congestion.” Obviously efforts to reducing incoming traffic to the facility didn’t make a dent in the problem.
Due to the delays, police in Mount Pleasant, S.C. began diverting traffic in an effort to ease the congestion.
“We kind of had to shut down the port,” the city’s mayor told The (Charleston, S.C.) Post and Courier.
Obviously this sort of disaster is the very last thing South Carolina’s port system needed right now.
In response to these developments, we have continued to push for the privatization of all port facilities – something that should have been done over a decade ago.
No word yet on how its high-priced neo-Confederate consultants will respond to the latest drama. Also, no word yet on how much additional ground South Carolina’s port system will lose to its competitors as a result of the disaster.