Traffic Management Center

About the Traffic Management Center

The Traffic Management Center controls and supervises more than 200 signalized intersections in the City of Charleston. The traffic signal system computers monitor traffic 24 hours a day and 365 days a year, implementing various plans according to the actual traffic conditions. The system is constantly supervising the equipment in the field.

How it Works

The Traffic Management Center uses a uses a closed-circuit television monitoring system that utilizes video cameras in the field. These monitor traffic conditions on the Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge and along the I-26 corridor.

 The cameras are strategically placed on the bridge and along the interstate, allowing operators in the Traffic Management Center as well as the Charleston Police Department's dispatch room to continuously monitor traffic conditions. Operators can promptly identify incidents on the roadways and have emergency personnel respond as quickly as possible.


The faster accidents or other types of incidents are detected, the faster the response from police, fire, and emergency medical services (EMS) will be. This is important when attending to someone's injury or when someone is in need of assistance. It also allows for the removal of the incident from the roadway in an expeditious manner, minimizing the congestion on the highways.

History of the Center

In the 1970s, the City of Charleston became the first city in the State of South Carolina and one of the first cities in the southeast to install a computerized traffic signal system. At the time of its installation, the first system and control center was considered state-of-the-art technology. Cities such as Philadelphia, New York City, and others were not even as technologically advanced. Charleston became a leader in traffic control management.

In 1989, Hurricane Hugo ravaged the Charleston area and severely damaged the original control center. In 1990, a second traffic control center was established, again taking advantage of the most advanced technology available at the time.

The opportunity for a new and more advanced Traffic Management Center was realized and included as part of the Department of Traffic and Transportation's relocation into the new Reuben Greenberg Municipal Building in 2004. In 2007, the third Traffic Management Center opened and Charleston continues to lead the way in traffic control management.

Interesting Facts

Interesting facts about the Traffic Management Center include:

  • There are a total of six 50-inch projection cubes that make up the video wall. Each cube is 30 inches in height and 40 inches in length.
  • The total cost to establish the Traffic Management Center was approximately $300,000.
  • The system monitors and controls more than 235 signalized intersections throughout the City of Charleston and the Town of Mount Pleasant.
  • There are 1,626 individual traffic signals, 134 pedestrian signals, and a total of 174 flashing signals and school-zone flashing signals monitored and maintained by the Department of Traffic and Transportation.
  • There are over 355,000 feet of communications cable and 5,000 feet of fiber optic cable that links the system together.
  • There are 12 video cameras that continuously monitor the Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge.