LOCKHART — Two new detours have been established by the SC Department of Transportation to accommodate traffic while the Lockhart Bridge is closed.
In a statement released Tuesday, the SCDOT announced that on Monday it had closed the SC 9/SC 49 Bridge over the Broad River in the Town of Lockhart for structural repairs. In light of the closing the bridge, the SCDOT had originally rerouted traffic north of the bridge, but on Tuesday the department announced that a new detour was being put in place to accommodate truck traffic.
The press release states that the “original detour to the north used SC 49, SC 211 and SC 105. On Tuesday, July 19, 2016, SCDOT engineers noticed the additional truck traffic was causing areas of distress in the concrete bridge deck on SC 105 over the Pacolet River. For this reason, a vehicle load limit of 8 tons per axle and 33 tons gross has been placed on the bridge. A truck detour is being installed to route trucks around this location. This new truck detour uses SC 9, SC 18 and SC 211 in addition to other segments of the original detour.”
The announcement further states that the the SCDOT is also “installing an additional detour to the south that will be useful to motorists from certain areas. This detour uses SC 72, SC 215, SC 49 and SC 105.”
In its statement announcing the closing of the Lockhart Bridge, the SCDOT stated that it was being closed because a recent inspection had found damage that required short-term repairs. The announcement stated that the bridge had reached a point where the repairs were needed to extend the life of the bridge so it could remain in service until a new one is built.
At the time the closing of the bridge was announced, the SCDOT stated that its goal is to complete the repairs in 30 days with all work to be completed by no later than Aug. 14. The reopening of the bridge by that time is vital as schools are scheduled to open Aug. 15 and that section of SC 9 serves a school bus route.
Another factor in the SCDOT’s determination to have the work completed within 30 days is that SC 9 serves a primary route for the movement of people and goods across in the Upstate. The SCDOT stated that the number of vehicles on SC 9 in the area totals 5,050 per day, 25 percent of which are trucks.
In Tuesday’s press release, the SCDOT stated that the contractor handling the repairs to the Lockhart Bridge is on schedule to complete the work by Aug. 14.
Once the temporary repairs are completed the SCDOT will issue a new contract for the construction of four new bridges crossing Broad River, Canal Road, S.46, and Lockhart Drive. Plans are for the contract for this project to be put out to bid by the end of this year. The new Lockhart Bridge on SC 9 will be built next to the current one which will remain in place until work on the new one is completed.
The replacement of the SC 9 Bridge will require the relocation of the utilities that currently run along it which is projected to cost $300,000. The cost of that relocation is the responsibility of the Town of Lockhart which does not on its own have the funds to pay for the project.. To enable the town to pay for the relocation SC House District 42 Rep. Mike Anthony and the rest of the Union County Legislative Delegation secured $200,000 in state funding for the town. The balance of the cost of the project will be covered by a $100,000 appropriation from the Union County Transportation Committee.
This story courtesy of the SC Department of Transportation.