SCDOT crews completed repairs to the James Island Connector and all lanes were reopened in time for rush hour Friday morning.
The final phase of repairs and replacement of a damaged expansion joint on the James Island Connector began on Wednesday and were completed on schedule by 5 a.m. Friday, according to SCDOT Engineer Kevin Turner.
During repairs, one lane of the roadway had to be closed, leading to heavy delays on Thursday during rush hours.
The first half of the work was completed last weekend, but crews were forced to complete the second half of repairs during the week because of Saturday's Cooper River Bridge Run.
The repairs were necessary because of what SCDOT spokesman James Law called a "one in a million" accident on Feb. 11, in which a car-carrying trailer ripped out a portion of an expansion joint. Witnesses told SCDOT investigators that vehicle hit the expansion joint but continued on without stopping.
An expansion joint allows sections of concrete on the roadway to expand or contract based on the temperature without damage to the concrete itself. The lane closures allowed for a replacement to be installed as well as new concrete around it to gain adequate strength for cars.
SCDOT crews placed temporary metal plates over the damaged section to allow cars to pass immediately after the accident, but had to replace one of them over concerns a protruding bolt was causing damage to car tires. Eight motorists filed claims their tires were damaged by the bolt, Law said.
Anyone who has a claim but has not filed can go to the agency's website at http://www.scdot.org or call the SCDOT's Charleston Maintenance Office at (843) 740-1655.
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