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‘Suspicious package’ deemed safe, Ravenel Bridge reopens to traffic

Published: Jul. 10, 2021 at 12:41 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 10, 2021 at 11:25 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The Charleston Police Department says the Ravenel Bridge has been reopened to traffic and the suspicious package has been deemed safe.

Police say the package was found at the base of the bridge on the Mount Pleasant side.

All lanes on the bridge were closed for almost three hours while officers from the Mount Pleasant and Charleston Police Departments investigated the package.

Waterfront Park was also closed for a time due to the package, but has since reopened according to Mount Pleasant Police.

Officers say they received a call about the suspicious package around 11:20 a.m. on Saturday.

“We found it under the bridge. The Charleston City Bomb Squad came and investigated it. They deemed that it was safe,” Mount Pleasant Spokesman Don Calabrese said.

Police quickly closed off access to the bridge while they worked to make sure the package was not harmful, but doing so left countless motorists and pedestrians like Tim and Cheryl Alessi stuck.

“We were on the other side coming from Mount Pleasant. They put some tape up and said we can’t cross, go back so we had to come down this way. And then we started to go back and (they) still blocked us off so now we’re stuck on this side with the car on the other side,” Alessi said.

Mount Pleasant Police say they’re familiar with closing down the bridge in emergency situations, so while it wasn’t fun for drivers, they were able to clear the area in minutes.

“The police departments have a good working relationship, police and fire, Charleston County EMS and Rescue, so that was probably the easiest part was getting out there, we’re used to working together because we share that jurisdiction with them,” Calabrese said.

The closure of the bridge impacted traffic on I-526 as well causing significant backups and slowdowns while the bridge was closed.

Officers are still trying to figure out what the suspicious package is, but it has been deemed safe.

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