A detour around a structurally damaged bridge on Pine Grove Road in Lugoff will remain in place until Spring 2016, according to a S.C. Department of Transportation (SCDOT) engineer. SCDOT District One Engineering Administrator Bryan L. Jones said the hope is for the bridge to be replaced by the end of May 2016.
“This will be a total bridge replacement,” Jones said during a Nov. 3 phone interview. “It’s in the state’s emergency bridge package. It was damaged structurally; flood waters scoured the foundations.”
Jones said SCDOT expects to send the project to bid by mid-December.
The bridge, which crosses Twenty-Five Mile Creek on Pine Grove Road just south of Grey Fox Road, suffered damage during early October’s historic flood event. At Kershaw County Council’s Oct. 13, County Administrator Vic Carpenter described Pine Grove Road as a “critical” road.
“It’s one of those roads where by closing it off, you shut off a huge portion of the county that relies on that road,” Carpenter said at the time.
Pine Grove Road is closed to through traffic, with detours set up at the road’s intersections with S.C. 34 (Ridgeway Road) and Kellytown Road. Traffic is only open to local residents living on Pine Grove Road between S.C. 34 and the bridge.
An approximately 120-foot section of roadway immediately south of the bridge washed out, the site of Kershaw County’s only flood-related fatality. A Lugoff man died the night of Oct. 4 when he drove around barricades set up by local authorities and was swept into a ravine created by the washed-out roadway. Lugoff Fire-Rescue crews managed to save a female passenger, but found the man’s body in the car the next morning.
A visit to the scene Nov. 4 showed SCDOT has mostly, if not completely, repaired the roadway.
The Twenty-Five Mile Creek bridge on Pine Grove Road is the only flood-damaged one still not open to traffic in Kershaw County. Jones said, however, there is another bridge damaged by the flood SCDOT hopes to replace on Porter Cross Road crossing Haig Creek west of Kirkland Road, also in Lugoff.
“It is open to traffic. It’s perfectly safe and sound for the traveling public,” Jones said. “SCDOT Kershaw County Maintenance took it apart and put it back together, but it needs long-term replacement.”
Jones said SCDOT is still submitting documentation to the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency to see if it will place the Porter Cross Road bridge on its list to provide federal funds for a total replacement.