SCDOT replaces temporary plate on James Island Connector after complaints

DOT to put warning signs on James Island Connector following plate complaints

JAMES ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - The State Department of Transportation replaced one temporary plate with another Thursday.

The replacement came over numerous complaints from drivers that the plate was causing tires to be blown as they drove over it in the lanes heading into Charleston from the island.

There was a concern that a bolt on the temporary plate may have been protruding, SCDOT spokesman James Law said.

The new temporary plate covers a gap where an expansion joint was ripped out in what was described as a "one in a million" accident earlier this month, and was put into place two days after the SCDOT said it would put warning signs along the connector in response to complaints from other drivers.

One witness said on Monday he saw three cars having their tires blown on three consecutive days.

Other drivers were also concerned.

"Just the bump when you go over it. I don't know if it will, but I'm afraid it will move," Jaime Gregory said.

"The tires are very expensive and if one of them bursts it would cost me a lot of money to fix," James Dellocono said.

In a Live 5 Investigation to determine whether the metal plate is dangerous for drivers, we drove over the connector in one of our mini SUVs on Friday. We could definitely feel the bump and fortunately we did not have any flat tires.

Then on Monday, we drove over the connector again. This time we used one of our smaller cars and also had to deal with a rainstorm. We felt it a little more this time and again we did not have a flat tire.

Law defended the condition of the plate, saying its edges were ground down and smooth asphalt was put down in front of it when it was placed on the conector.

But Law admitted warning signs should have been placed right after the plate had been installed.

He said on Monday as a result of our story, the signs would be put up there as soon as possible.

Law says the expansion joint will be permanently replaced in the next couple of months.

He says anyone who wants to file a claim for a blown tire should contact the DOT Charleston maintenance office.

Copyright 2015 WCSC. All rights reserved.