Provided by the SC Department of Transportation
While the design/build team for the rehabilitation of the Ben Sawyer Bridge has until May 2010 to complete the project, they would like to finish even sooner. Completion of project’s four temporary work trestles by June 16 is a step in the right direction.
The eastern trestles will now be used to assist crews installing the new bridge fender system. A crane and barge combination will remove the existing pilings and install the new system under the bridge. The Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) Channel will not be closed during this effort, but the width of the channel will be reduced. Vessels which need the full ICW channel are asked to provide the bridge operator with two hours notice for passage.
From the western (harbor side) trestles, crews continue placing pilings between the trestles and the existing bridge. The replacement bridge approaches will be built upon these temporary pilings. During the seven day (168 hour) road closure, the existing bridge will move onto the eastern trestles and the replacement approaches will be shifted from these temporary pilings onto the bridge’s existing foundation.
Contrary to the June 8, 2009, Post and Courier story, the actual dates and start time of the seven day (168 hour) bridge closure have not been determined. Many more construction milestones must be reached before even a narrow window of dates can be known. While the contractor would like to be ready for the closure activities as early as possible, the scheduling of the closure could contractually occur any time between October 1, 2009, and April 1, 2010, except for ten days before and after Christmas. A tight range of dates during which the closure could occur will be released at least thirty days prior to the closure. As soon as it is confirmed, this closure range will be distributed to the public through www.bensawyerbridge.com and the local media. However, the actual start of the 168 hour time clock for the closure will not be known until the last minute when the rehabilitated bridge is ready to be put in place and weather conditions are the most favorable.
For more information and photo updates, please visit www.bensawyerbridge.com.