North Charleston, South Carolina (WCBD)- Big changes to traffic around the Lowcountry as South Carolina Department of Transportation gets ready to begin the new port access project.

Beginning Saturday, November 19 at 7:00pm SCDOT will close exit ramps 217 and 218 off of Interstate 26. The ramps will be closed as the preparation gets underway for the demolition to take place after Thanksgiving. Once demolition, clearing, and grubbing have taken place, construction for the Port Access Road project is anticipated to begin in early 2017.

I-26 Exit 217 North Meeting Street will be cleared and replaced in its same foot print with new ramps from North Meeting Street to I-26 Westbound and from I-26 Eastbound to North Meeting Street. I-26 Exit 217 is anticipated to reopen in 2019.

I-26 Exit 218 Spruill Avenue will be taken out of service and replaced with the new fully directional Port Access Road interchange with local connector roads.

For more information on the Port Access Road project can be found at