Going to the USC game? Here's the traffic and parking informatio - Tucson News Now

Going to the USC game? Here's the traffic and parking information you need

Source: Chris Matras Source: Chris Matras
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

A 6 p.m. kickoff for the South Carolina Gamecocks on a day with thousands of people already in downtown Columbia for the workday can mean serious traffic and parking problems.

More than 80,000 football fans will be at, or trying to get to, Williams Brice Stadium Thursday afternoon. At the same time, thousands of other people who work in Columbia will be trying to get home at the end of the workday.

"The number one thing we want to express is patience," Lt. Glen Levin with the South Carolina Highway Patrol said. "It's a work day so already a lot of people are going to be in town and then there will probably be 3 times as many people coming into town."

The Gamecocks open the 2014 season against Texas A & M, which also launches a double-header on the SEC Network. To accommodate both games, kickoff for the Gamecocks is at 6 p.m.

Traffic

University Police recommend fans access Bluff and Shop roads from Interstate 77, which is accessible from Interstates 20 and 26.

People with reserved parking at the Fairgrounds who are traveling from downtown Columbia should use the two right lanes of Assembly Street.

Police block some streets surrounding the stadium and reverse lane direction, so drive with caution in those neighborhoods. The South Carolina Highway Patrol says it expects to have officers change traffic flow at about 2:30 p.m., but that time is tentative because it depends on the amount of traffic. Traffic flow maps are attached to this story sidebar.

Postgame stadium traffic has priority. All lanes of Assembly Street will be used for traffic coming from the stadium.  The two left lanes on Assembly street will turn left onto Blossom Street.

Traffic leaving South Stadium Road will be routed south on Bluff Road. The left two lanes may take I-77 North, the right two lanes take I-77 South.

Traffic flow maps are attached to this story sidebar.

If you are picking up someone from the game, you must arrive before the game is completed.

Click here to follow traffic updates via Twitter. Tweet your traffic situation at #WIStraffic.

Parking

Although Williams-Brice Stadium is surrounded by parking areas, not all are University of South Carolina property. Private property owners reserve spots and set rates.  Click here for information regarding University of South Carolina parking services. 

According to the University of South Carolina, "Tentatively, no game day parking for 2014 will be available in Gamecock Park...and Carolina Fair Park...is questionable at this time."

Gates to Gamecock Park, at the old South Carolina Farmers Market, open six hours prior to kickoff, or at noon Thursday.  All other lots open five hours prior to kickoff, or at 1 p.m. Thursday. Vehicles not removed within two hours after game is over could be locked in until the following business day.

Click here for more information regarding University parking. Parking facility maps are attached to this story side bar.

Parking lots at the South Carolina State Fairgrounds open at noon Thursday. Reserve spots and first-come-first-serve spots are available. First-come-first-serve spots are $30 per car, $50 per bus and $100 per RV, cash only. Click here for details and to reserve a parking space in the Fairgrounds lot.

People parking at the Fairgrounds should enter through Gate 12 off Rosewood Drive. First-come-first-served spots are cash only. Guests cannot use deep-fryers or grills that burn charcoal or wood.

Parking Shuttles

Fans going to University of South Carolina football games can ride a shuttle from remote parking lots to Williams-Brice Stadium.

Students can ride the shuttle for free with a valid Carolina Card. Non students, including faculty and staff, can buy a $3 round-trip ride for each game.

Shuttles will operate three hours before kickoff and 90 minutes after the game.

Pickup and drop-off locations are on Greene Street in front of the Russell House University Union and Carolina Coliseum B Lot at Devine and Lincoln streets.

Everyone riding the shuttle will be required to wear wrist bands, which will be distributed at pickup locations.

Shuttle map

Shuttle for people with disabilities map

Click here for more information.

The COMET is providing gameday shuttle service. Fans can catch the Gamecock Express at stops at Greene and Sumter, Lincoln and Blossom and Hamrick and Rosewood starting four hours before kickoff. Gamecock Express drops fans off at the South Carolina Fairgrounds.

Fans can take coolers on board COMET buses.

Service ends two hours after the end of the game. A $3.50 all-day pass purchase is required, but allows the rider to go anywhere on the COMET route system.

Because of heavy traffic in the area, the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles office on Shop Road is offering limited services Thursday and encouraging people to visit other area offices. The office will stop accepting applicants for road tests at 12 p.m.

Law enforcement officers will be reversing traffic on Shop Road, limiting access to the office at 1630 Shop Road and road tests in the area.  The Department of Motor Vehicles has offices at 228 O'Neil Court in Columbia, 10311 Wilson Boulevard in Blythewood, 1016 Broadstone Road in Irmo and 122 Park Street in Lexington.

Copyright 2014 WIS. All rights reserved.

 

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