Dept. of Transportation opens replacement bridge in Beaufort Co.

Dept. of Transportation opens replacement bridge in Beaufort Co.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held to open a replacement bridge that will stretch across the the Harbor River and connect mainland Beaufort County to its adjacent sea islands. (Source: South Carolina Department of Transportation)

BEAUFORT COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held to open a replacement bridge that will stretch across the the Harbor River and connect mainland Beaufort County to its adjacent sea islands.

South Carolina Department of Transportation officials say the bridge is along US Highway 21, or the Sea Island Parkway, and it will be replacing a functionally obsolete 82-year-old swing-span bridge.

The ribbon cutting ceremony for the new bridge will begin at noon Monday and scheduled speakers include State Senator Chip Campsen III, State Representative Michael F. Rivers Sr. and Secretary of Transportation Christy Hall.

The SCDOT says the old swing-span bridge their modern bridge is replacing was the only way from the mainland to Harbor Island, Hunting Island, and Fripp Island.

This bridge is a part of US 21 which serves as a designated hurricane evacuation route for coastal Beaufort County. The SCDOT says the old bridge had experienced washouts and damage during prior hurricane seasons.

The project is part of the SCDOT’s 10-year Strategic Plan to replace hundreds of structurally deficient bridges across the state.

The SCDOT says the new bridge is over 3000 feet long and 65 feet high. It will provide uninterrupted access for boats along the river below and officials say it will offer improved safety for motorists travelling along US 21.

The project was budgeted at $77 million and officials say it is on-budget and is expected to be completed 60 days ahead of schedule.

The SCDOT says the old swing bridge will be removed and utilized offshore as an artificial reef.

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