BERKELEY COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Officials with SCDOT announced on Thursday that a company in Wando has been contracted to replace the Cypress Gardens Road Bridge which collapsed in April after a train derailed.
Cape Romain Contractors was awarded an emergency contract for $3,050,000 to replace the bridge near Highway 52 in Moncks Corner.
Crews will demolish the old bridge in two weeks with construction expected to be finished by the end of September.
In an email from CSX, a spokeswoman said CSX will reimburse the South Carolina Department of Transportation for the cost of the replacement, and has signed an agreement with SCDOT to do so.
SCDOT released the following statement on Thursday:
The South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) has awarded an emergency contract in the amount of $3,050,000 to Cape Romain Contractors, Inc. of Wando, SC to replace the Cypress Gardens Road Bridge on S-8-9 near Highway 52 in Moncks Corner. A train derailment on the tracks located under the bridge on the evening of Monday, April 28, 2014 caused the structure to collapse.
Work should begin during the week of June 8, 2014. The contract calls for a "no excuses" completion of the bridge by October 25, 2014. Additionally, incentives have been included in the contract with Cape Romain Contractors, Inc. to provide a mechanism to accelerate delivery of the completed project ahead of the October 25, 2014 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," said Oakley.
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% 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," Oakley said.
The safety issues included closing that portion of Cypress Gardens Road and putting a detour in place, working with CSX Railroad to remove damaged sections of the bridge that were creating a hazard. And SCDOT staff assisted Berkeley County officials in restoring water service to areas on one side of the bridge. The structure hosted a line that provided water to residential and industrial customers. Water service was restored with a temporary line in just under 24 hours.
The detour that closed the approaches to the bridge site will permit Cape Romain's crews to work expediently. The railroad tracks below the bridge were cleared the day after the bridge was closed. The contactor will coordinate rail traffic and construction with CSX Railroad.
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 SCDOT has reached the point of awarding a contract so quickly. 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," said Rozier.
This bridge location has an Average Daily Traffic (ADT) count of 6200 vehicles. Trucks account for 5% of that traffic. Prior to the derailment and collapse on April 28, 2014, the bridge had been inspected on October 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