South Carolina Department of Transportation Begins Repairs on Damaged Bridge

8:19 PM, Jan 17, 2014   |    comments
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Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- Repairs are underway on the Blossom Street Bridge after a car crashed through the railing Thursday night, killing 35-year-old Denzel Whyatt Junior and his passenger, 40-year-old Shannon Mickens.

South Carolina Department of Transportation workers were at the site all day Friday constructing a temporary guardrail to fill the 27-foot gap while a permanent solution is decided on.

"The concrete pedestal was completely sheered off so we'll have to come up with a way to probably dowel rebar in that and then reconstruct the concrete pedestal," said SCDOT District Maintenance Engineer Robert Dickinson. "Then the bridge rail, the metal rail in between the pedestals, of course, is probably going to have to be specially fabricated to match what's there."

It could take weeks or months for the bridge to be fixed and officials believe they'll be able to figure out what happened in the moments before the accident.

"I feel very confident that we will. We're actually going through the process of reconstructing the accident to kind of put the officers there at that time to see what was going on. A very detailed look at the vehicle, as well, we'll take a look," said Captain Melron Kelly with the Columbia Police Department.

Police are asking nearby businesses to check their surveillance footage for any indicators of what may have caused Whyatt to lose control of the SUV and witnesses to come forward. Officials say if you have information but want to remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers.

SCDOT will cover the initial repair costs from the district's funds, but will have their legal team contact Whyatt's insurance company for a reimbursement in the future.

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