Swing span moves in, Ben Sawyer renovations continue

MOUNT PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) - The new swing span for the Ben Sawyer Bridge began moving into place Thursday afternoon.

With the green light from Department of Transportation representatives, the 450-ton span was guided down river by cranes around 2 p.m.  The span will adjust naturally in height due to the changing of tides late Thursday evening.

The swing span will align with the new approach span on the Mt. Pleasant side of the bridge once the tides settle.

Transportation representatives say the new approach span on the Sullivan's Island portion will align into place using similar methods late Thursday evening and early in to Friday.

"[The project] will be completed on Wednesday of next week," said Transportation representative James Law.  "We think the construction crew is within the realm of doing that."

The construction, headed by Florida based P.C.L. Civil Constructors, has put a stop to motorists who typically use the bridge to access Sullivan's Island.

Until Feb. 17, traffic detour signs direct travelers to the neighboring Isle of Palms connector, to Palm Boulevard for access on and off of Sullivan's island.  Travel time, as measured, runs an additional 30 minutes.

"[P.C.L. Civil Constructors] are working around the clock, seven days a week to make sure traffic is up and running again within that 10 day period," said Law.  "We want to make this as easy as possible for commuters."

The $30 million federally funded project began on Feb. 7 after more than two months of construction and scheduling delays.  Full renovations, the first for the bridge since it opened in 1945, will be completed in late May and will include a pedestrian and bike path.

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