How Safe are South Carolina Bridges?

Columbia, SC (WLTX)- The South Carolina Department of Transportation says there are 12 bridges in the Midlands slated to be replaced by June 2015.

Lee Flyod, the state bridge maintenance engineer for SCDOT, says the new bridges will improve safety and also pump money into our local economy.

"Your infrastructure not only impacts your day to day commute, it impacts the economy and businesses."

A study put out by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association suggests nearly 11 percent of the bridges across South Carolina are in poor condition.

Paul Ziehl is an engineer professor at the University of South Carolina.

"A lot of people don't realize these structures were built in the 1950's," said Ziehl.

He says there are two main reasons many of the bridges in our area need to be replaced.

"Truck traffic in general- the loads have increased over the years. Corrosion and other mechanisms are taking place over the years and these two things are happening," said Ziehl.

Flyod says overall they are working to fix what they can and drivers should feel safe.

"I know some people when they see a restricted bridge it causes a little bit of a concern- but as long as you follow the restriction signs and weight limit signs the bridge is perfectly fine."

SCDOT released a list of 12 bridges that are slated for replacement in the Midlands:

Kershaw County:

Watson St. (S-28-120), Mt. Zion Rd. (S-28-549

Lee County:

Shiver Pond Rd. (S-31-204), Rembert Church Rd. (S-31-37)

Lexington County:

Princeton Rd. (S-32-1287)

Richland County:

Firetower Rd. (S-40-1058) (Bridge 100 & 200)

Sumter County:

East Foxworth Mill Rd. (S-43-105),

Tearcoat Bridge Rd. (S-43-255),

Westbury Mill Rd. (S-43-290),

Dubose Siding Rd. (S-43-44),

Bell Rd. (S-43-46)


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