Thursday, June 5, 2014
There is an end in sight for Berkeley County motorists affected by the collapsed bridge on Cypress Gardens Road.
The South Carolina Department of Transportation awarded the contract to build a replacement bridge to a Wando construction firm.
According to a DOT press release, on Thursday, June 5, the SCDOT awarded an emergency contract in the amount of $3,050,000 to Cape Romain Contractors, Inc. of Wando to replace the Cypress Gardens Road Bridge near Highway 52 in Moncks Corner.
On April 28, a CSX train derailed and hit the bridge, which caused the structure to collapse.
Work is scheduled to begin during the week of June 8. The contract calls for a “no excuses” completion of the bridge by Oct. 25, 2014.
Additionally, incentives have been included in the contract to provide a mechanism to accelerate delivery of the completed project ahead of the Oct. 25 date.
Secretary of Transportation Janet P. Oakley commended the work of SCDOT’s staff and partners. “I am very proud of how our staff, both in the district office and SCDOT’s headquarters responded to this emergency situation. The safety issues were taken care of within hours of the incident and the processes to secure an emergency contract to replace the bridge were underway early the next day.”
The Secretary also praised the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) for its major role in the emergency response process.
“FHWA SC Administrator Bob Lee and his team not only worked with our staff to secure approval for 100 percent federal funding for this emergency contract, they took the extra steps to provide emergency ‘cash-upfront’ so that we could begin acquiring the outside services we needed to get this project moving as fast as possible.”
SCDOT Commissioner Jim Rozier, who represents the 1st Congressional District including Berkeley County said the response to this emergency has gone very well.
“I’m delighted that the Department of Transportation has reached the point of awarding a contract so quickly,” he said. “The fact that a contract to replace an entire bridge has been ironed out in just over a month is amazing. What further delights me is that we are taking the quickest path to get the bridge back in service for the people and businesses in Berkeley County.”
Berkeley County Supervisor Dan Davis pledged his complete support of the bridge replacement project and hoped for an expedient completion by the projected due date.
“?It has been my hope all along that SCDOT would be expeditious in addressing this problem which has caused much hardship for many of our citizens? and industries,” Davis said. “As County Supervisor, I will do everything within my powers to stay involved and keep our citizens informed as work progresses. I feel everyone has been inconvenienced enough by this unfortunate situation?.”
According to SCDOT records, the Cypress Gardens Road bridge had an Average Daily Traffic (ADT) count of 6200 vehicles. Trucks accounted for about five percent of that traffic.
Prior to its April 28 collapse, the bridge had been last inspected on Oct. 29, 2013. That inspection rated the structure in fair-to-satisfactory condition. The bridge was not classified as structurally deficient or functionally obsolete at the time of the last inspection, according to the SCDOT.