6 Charleston Co. Bridges are 'Substandard'
Six of the state's 20 most substandard bridges are located in Charleston County.
Six of South Carolina's most substandard bridges are located in Charleston County, according to AAA of the Carolinas.
Most are located in North Charleston, but a few West Ashley area bridges also made the list. But even on the so-caled substandard bridges, state officials say there is no danger, so long as motorists follow all the posted rules.
Structurally deficient bridges:
- Cosgrove Ave. Overpass at I-26, North Charleston, built in 1964;
- Dorchester Rd. Overpass at I-26, North Charleston, built in 1961;
- U.S. 17 at the Ashley River, North Charleston, built in 1961.
Functionally obsolete bridges:
- Folly Rd. at Wappoo Creek, James Island, built in 1956;
- CSX Rail Overpass at Hwy. 17, North Charleston, built in 2005;
- Sam Rittenberg Blvd. at the Ashley River, North Charleston, built in 1953.
Structurally deficient is defined as being in relatively poor physical condition and/or inadequate to handle truck weight. Functionally obsolete is defined as having inadequate design for current traffic volume.
AAA estimates it would cost $2 billion to replace or repair all the deficient or obsolete bridges in South Carolina, and that figure is growing. A 2003 estimate indicated it would cost $850 million to bring everything up to code.
The state allocates just $200 million annually for bridge maintenance and repair.
“It's less expensive to keep bridges in good repair than it is to replace them,” said David E. Parsons, president and CEO of AAA Carolinas. “The state legislature needs to step up and find a way to increase the revenue streams South Carolina’s bridges and highways clearly need.”
State officials say South Carolina motorists shouldn't worry about bridge safety.
“All South Carolina open bridges are safe for use by the motoring public within whatever restrictions are posted," said Secretary of Transportation Robert St. Onge.
AAA used state data to compile its listing. Read more about their findings.