Holiday Season Travel Tips

The holidays are here, and it’s an exciting time of the year! Millions of people travel all over the country to visit family and friends. All of this travel can lead to traffic congestion and other possible traffic delays. Check out this video for tips to help keep your trip safe and efficient. 

Vehicle traveling in winter weather

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Our Roads Take You Places: Lights of Lugoff Christmas Parade

On this episode of Our Roads Take You Places, we head to Lugoff, South Carolina, where this small town is gearing up for their annual Christmas parade: the Lights of Lugoff. 

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Congaree Elementary students get hands-on transportation vehicle experience thanks to SCDOT employees

SCDOT participated in Congaree Elementary School's "Vehicle Day" on Friday, Nov. 17, 2023. 

Jason Hathcock, James Rhames and Laura Fulmer of Lexington Maintenance brought out a dump truck, traffic signs, and reflective markers and tape to give students an up-close hands-on look at equipment SCDOT uses every day. 

SHEP Incident Responder James Allen brought a SHEP truck to the school and showed the students some of the tools SCDOT uses to remove disabled vehicles from the roadway to keep traffic moving.

Adopt a Family is here! Contributions due December 11

Did you know Santa Claus works at SCDOT?

It’s almost time for Santa to pack his sleigh and ready his reindeer for their trip around the world to deliver presents. But did you know that Santa also works at SCDOT?

That’s right, Santa loves travel so much that he decided to join Team SCDOT in the Safety Office where he works hard to make sure everyone has a safe environment to work in. Sometimes people call him Rob Wiggs. He'll answer to either!

Santa says Team SCDOT has spent lots of time and energy trying to perfect our safety practices.

Santa is also an Eagle Scout and enjoys refereeing wrestling.

On the weekends you can find him at the South Carolina Railroad Museum in Winnsboro riding the train and talking to all the good boys and girls about Christmas. He says his favorite part of being Santa is the connections he gets to make with the families he talks to. Santa says December is a time for family, friends and festivity.

Santa says when he’s finished making sure Team SCDOT is safe, he goes home and checks his list to find out who’s been naughty or nice and sorts through the letters he gets. 


If you want to see Santa in action, he will be at the SC Railroad Museum on December 2, 9, and 16 at 10 a.m., 12 p.m., 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. Make sure you bring your letters! 

Project Update: I-85 Widening in Spartanburg and Cherokee counties

The South Carolina Department of Transportation is working to widen and reconstruct I-85 in Spartanburg and Cherokee counties. The roughly 29-mile-long project is well underway, with the northern and southern ends complete. This video showcases a recent project milestone and gives a brief overview of where the project currently stands.

I-85 project in Spartanburg and Cherokee counties

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Bridge Maintenance Projects Sustain Vital Routes in Bamberg County

Several bridge maintenance projects have been successfully completed in Bamberg County, ensuring the structural integrity and safety of three bridges. The projects included the bridge on U.S. 21 over the Edisto River, the bridge on U.S. 301 northbound over the Little Salkehatchie River, and the bridge on U.S. 301 southbound over Lemon Swamp.

SCDOT Bamberg County bridge maintenance projects

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Pastor treasures father's class ring recovered by SCDOT employee

One day in 2006, the Reverend Jack Heinsohn Sr. was doing yard work near his church in Clinton, South Carolina, when he lost his beloved Erskine College class ring. He searched diligently for that ring but to no avail. While his church had a replacement ring made for him, it was not the same. The Rev. Heinsohn and his family believed that the ring was gone forever. 

That ring held much history for him. It was during his time at Erskine that he chose to walk away from a career as a circus performer to dedicate his life to Christianity. He committed to his ministry, and worked in churches and organizations all over the country. 

“He was a remarkable man,” his son, the Rev. Dr. Jack Heinsohn Jr. said. “He had a heart for the Lord and for the Church.”

The way that the Rev. Heinsohn Sr. led his life was an inspiration to all who loved him. Upon his passing in 2009, his son was eager to hold onto the physical things that helped sustain his father’s memory. He was given his father’s coffee mug, but the missing class ring was more valuable emotionally. After all, his father always wore the ring and had intended to pass it on to his son. 

“He wanted me to have it as I am Jack Jr. and a graduate of Erskine Seminary,” he said. “The ring was so special to him.”

Years later, the Rev. Heinsohn Jr. was sitting in his office at Spring Valley Presbyterian Church when he received an email from SCDOT. His father’s original class ring had been recovered. 

“It was a miracle,” he said. “There it was in my inbox, it was such a blessing.”

The ring had been missing for over 10 years. It was a sparkle beside the sidewalk at the corner of South Broad Street and East Walnut Street in Clinton, after road construction and rain brought the ring to the surface. 

An SCDOT employee was determined to return the ring to the Heinsohn family. After making contact, the employee had the ring cleaned, placed it into a ring box, and mailed it.

The Rev. Heinsohn Jr. and his family were overcome with joy. Having the ring back is like having a part of the Rev. Heinsohn Sr. again. The return of the ring moved Rev. Heinsohn Jr. to write a letter to SCDOT, acknowledging the great deeds of the employee and the work of the agency.


“He went the extra mile,” he said. “He is a testament to all women and men who work for the state of South Carolina.”

The Rev. Heinsohn Jr. says that if he ever gets the chance to meet the man who found his father’s ring, he will give him a big hug. For now, he cherishes his recovered treasure by keeping it in a safe place, vowing to ensure that the ring is never lost again.  

The Rev. Heinsohn Jr. keeps his father's memory, and his class ring, close to his heart. The ring was found on a road in Laurens County by an SCDOT employee, years after the Rev. Heinsohn Sr. had lost it.

Project Update: South Main Street in Columbia

The South Main Street Streetscape Project is a four-block enhancement project in downtown Columbia. The project is located just behind the State House grounds, starting at the intersection of South Main Street and Pendleton Street, moving south toward Blossom Street through a mix of commercial businesses and buildings that are a part of the University of South Carolina’s campus.

The aim of the project is to enhance the transportation experience for cyclists and pedestrians by reducing the number of vehicle lanes and improving the route for pedestrian and bicycle traffic.

The project is a partnership among SCDOT, the City of Columbia, the University of South Carolina, and the Richland County Transportation Committee. 

The project began in March 2023, when SCDOT shifted traffic on South Main Street from four lanes to two lanes. The two west-side lanes were closed for the sidewalk, bicycle track, and landscaping enhancements, while the east side lanes were converted to two-way traffic. 

All utilities will be moved underground. Sidewalk improvements will extend south across Blossom Street as sidewalk improvements are made at the southeast and southwest corners of Blossom and South Main streets. 

The project is approximately 36 percent complete, with the west side of the project on schedule for completion in spring 2024. Then, SCDOT will shift traffic to the other side of the street, as work begins on the east side of South Main Street. 


The total project budget is approximately $19.5 million, paid for with a mix of city, county, state, federal, and university funding.

Throughout the project, South Main Street will remain open to traffic in both directions.

SHEP Responders Keep Roads Clear for Traffic

Did you know SCDOT has a State Highway Emergency Program to help stranded drivers on some of South Carolina's most traveled highways? Check out this video to learn more.

State Highway Emergency Program responder helping motorist

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Taken in March 1960, this month’s historical photo shows the bridge on U.S. 176 over the Enoree River, at the Newberry and Union County line.

Employee Updates:

November 2023

Click the link to see a listing

New Employees



Recipe of the Month: Macaroni and Cheese

Click here to see the recipe.

Want to share a recipe with us? Send us an email!

Pictured (Center):

On November 14, the South Carolina Chamber recognized Secretary of Transportation Christy A. Hall, P.E. as 2023 Public Servant of the Year, “for her tireless efforts and leadership to improve South Carolina’s transportation ecosystem.”

South Carolina Electric Vehicle Working Group Holds Meeting December 1

SCDOT to repair bridge over Kingston Lake on S.C. 19 in Horry County

SCDOT to replace bridge on Outen Road in Chesterfield County

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