FIRST ALERT TRAFFIC: SCDOT to update status of Wando Bridge closure Wednesday afternoon


State transportation officials plan to describe their plans Wednesday afternoon in addressing a snapped cable in the Wando Bridge.

The SCDOT ordered a 48-hour shutdown of the James B. Edwards Bridge, commonly referred to as the Wando Bridge Monday afternoon. That decision followed the discovery of a snapped cable in the structure of the bridge during a routine inspection.

Only the westbound lanes were affected; the eastbound lanes remained open.

It is not yet clear what it will take to replace the snapped cable or address what caused the four-inch wide cable to break in the first place.

Detours, schedule changes in place to help alleviate traffic

Deputy Secretary for Engineering Leland Colvin said Monday the SCDOT set two detours to help keep traffic moving around the closed bridge.

The first detour takes drivers from Highway 17N to Highway 41, then to Clements Ferry Road and back to I-526. The second goes from 17S across the Ravenel Bridge and out to I-26 westbound.

Mount Pleasant Police have been diverting westbound traffic on I-526 to Longpoint Road, according to Mount Pleasant Police Inspector Chip Googe. No traffic will be allowed onto I-526 westbound from Longpoint Road, he said.

The Daniel Island Ferry is also running a commuter schedule. Click here for tickets.

The South Carolina Ports Authority has also announced adjusted gate times for the Wando Terminal because of the traffic. On Wednesday, the gates will open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., close from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and reopen from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. When gates open on Wednesday, truckers are advised to stay off the approach roads to the terminal including Long Point Road until the gates open.

Snapped cable discovered Monday morning during ‘rigorous inspection’

Colvin said the bridge, which is used by 35,000 cars daily, a segmental box bridge consisting of concrete blocks held together by cables. It is the only such bridge in the state, he said.

He said the SCDOT implemented a rigorous inspection program for the bridge after a damaged cable was discovered in the same location of the snapped cable in October 2016.

The bridge, which connects Mount Pleasant and Daniel Island, opened to traffic in 1991.

It was designed by FIGG Bridge Engineers, according to their website. FIGG is the same company that built the 950-ton pedestrian bridge that collapsed on March 15 on the campus of Florida International University.

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