Socastee Swing Bridge now reopened after sinkhole repair

troot@thesunnews.com,May 14, 2014 

— — Socastee Swing Bridge reopened Wednesday afternoon after workers repaired a hole that had developed in the road near the bridge.

Gradual wear and tear from traffic caused a tiny hole to eventually erode into a sinkhole that road crews spent Wednesday repairing at the Socastee Swing Bridge, a day after it was closed, an official said. It reopened around 4:30 p.m.

Shannon Welch with the S.C. Department of Transportation said the road damage was caught in time.

“With a slope like this, it’s going to happen over time no matter how good you have it. At bridges these happen. It’s probably been a slow going process and nothing was overlooked, it just happens,” Welch said.

The sinkhole was found about 5 p.m. Tuesday on the S.C. 707 side of the Intracoastal Waterway, just before the bridge. It was about 2 feet wide and several feet deep and opened to the bank of the waterway when it was found.

By midday Wednesday crews had dug out a much larger hole they planned to fill with asphalt and other materials to stabilize it and prevent further erosion, Welch said.

The closure was limited to the bridge along the heavily traveled Dick Pond Road, and access was allowed to River City Cafe and Peachtree Landing, attractions on either side of the bridge.

The bridge operator continued his work and turned the bridge for several boats, which caused some delay for DOT staffers, who were working where the caution lights and stop signs block the bridge when it turns.

Jim Wright, Horry County Schools’ director of transportation said the sinkhole caused the district to use its contingency plan and reroute some Horry County School buses over the nearby bridge at S.C. 544 Wednesday.

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Staff reporter Vicki Grooms contributed to this story.

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