Cypress Gardens Road Bridge Reopens Ahead of Schedule
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The South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) reports that the project to replace the Cypress Gardens Road Bridge near Highway 52 in Berkeley County is ahead of schedule despite challenging weather conditions.
Secretary of Transportation Janet P. Oakley said a significant milestone was reached July 25-26 when girders were delivered and installed. “Even with storm delays occurring on many recent evenings, the contractor reached this milestone and continues to make significant progress. We are very pleased with the project so far.”
SCDOT Commissioner Jim Rozier, who represents the 1st Congressional District including Berkeley County, has been monitoring the progress bridge replacement project since work began. “The Commission understands the significance of the project for the people who live and work in this community,” Rozier said. “I am glad to know the contractor is ahead of schedule. This is very good news. I am so very proud of how diligently SCDOT staff, Cape Romain Contractors, Inc., and CSX Railroad have worked together on this project. They have cooperated amazingly well.”
A train derailment on the tracks located under the bridge on April 28, 2014 caused the Cypress Gardens Road Bridge to collapse.
SCDOT awarded an emergency contract in the amount of $3,050,000 to Cape Romain Contractors, Inc. of Wando, to replace the bridge.
The contract calls for a "no excuses" completion of the bridge by October 25, 2014. Additionally, incentives have been included in the contract with Cape Romain Contractors, Inc. to provide a mechanism to accelerate delivery of the completed project ahead of the October 25, 2014, date.
Over the next two weeks, deck forms and deck reinforcing will placed on site.
The South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) has awarded an emergency contract in the amount of $3,050,000 to Cape Romain Contractors, Inc. of Wando, SC to replace the Cypress Gardens Road Bridge on S-8-9 near Highway 52 in Moncks Corner. A train derailment on the tracks located under the bridge on the evening of Monday, April 28, 2014 caused the structure to collapse.
Work should begin during the week of June 8, 2014. The contract calls for a “no excuses” completion of the bridge by October 25, 2014. Additionally, incentives have been included in the contract with Cape Romain Contractors, Inc. to provide a mechanism to accelerate delivery of the completed project ahead of the October 25, 2014 date.
Secretary of Transportation Janet P. Oakley commended the work of SCDOT’s staff and partners. “I am very proud of how our staff, both in the District Office and SCDOT’s Headquarters responded to this emergency situation. The safety issues were taken care of within hours of the incident and the processes to secure an emergency contract to replace the bridge were underway early the next day,” said Oakley.
The Secretary also praised the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) for its major role in the emergency response process. “FHWA SC Administrator Bob Lee and his team not only worked with our staff to secure approval for 100% federal funding for this emergency contract, they took the extra steps to provide emergency ‘cash-upfront’ so that we could begin acquiring the outside services we needed to get this project moving as fast as possible,” Oakley said.
The safety issues included closing that portion of Cypress Gardens Road and putting a detour in place, working with CSX Railroad to remove damaged sections of the bridge that were creating a hazard. And SCDOT staff assisted Berkeley County officials in restoring water service to areas on one side of the bridge. The structure hosted a line that provided water to residential and industrial customers. Water service was restored with a temporary line in just under 24 hours.
The detour that closed the approaches to the bridge site will permit Cape Romain’s crews to work expediently. The railroad tracks below the bridge were cleared the day after the bridge was closed. The contactor will coordinate rail traffic and construction with CSX Railroad.
SCDOT Commissioner Jim Rozier, who represents the 1st Congressional District including Berkeley County said the response to this emergency has gone very well. “I’m delighted that SCDOT has reached the point of awarding a contract so quickly. The fact that a contract to replace an entire bridge has been ironed out in just over a month is amazing. What further delights me is that we are taking the quickest path to get the bridge back in service for the people and businesses in Berkeley County,” said Rozier.
This bridge location has an Average Daily Traffic (ADT) count of 6200 vehicles. Trucks account for 5% of that traffic. Prior to the derailment and collapse on April 28, 2014, the bridge had been inspected on October 29, 2013. That inspection rated the structure in fair-to-satisfactory condition. The bridge was not classified as Structurally Deficient or Functionally Obsolete at the time of the last inspection
Cypress Gardens will be conducting business as usual during the aftermath of the bridge collapse on Cypress Gardens Road. The park will be open during regular business hours and for all scheduled school/tour groups, private parties and events. Visitors are asked to follow the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) detour which allows access to the park via Bushy Park Road, which can be accessed by taking Redbank Road through the Naval Weapons Station.
According to Heather Graham, Cypress Gardens Manager, visitors have been attempting to access the park via Oakley Road. Graham confirmed the only access to and from Cypress Gardens currently is via Bushy Park Road.
The SCDOT has set up detours, and traffic lights throughout the city of Goose Creek will be adjusted accordingly to accommodate increased traffic and ease congestion. Visitors planning a trip or event at Cypress Gardens can check with the park directly for road updates by calling 843-553-0515.
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