Upstate interstate reopens, large chunk of damaged bridge missing

Published: Jan. 13, 2014 at 5:15 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 23, 2014 at 5:15 PM EST
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(Source: WYFF)
(Source: WYFF)

SPARTANBURG, SC (WYFF) - The South Carolina Department of Transportation has reopened traffic on I-585 in Spartanburg County after a bridge over the southbound lanes was struck and damaged by a truck on Monday.

DOT crews worked overnight to have the interstate open by the Tuesday morning commute.

California Avenue is still closed over the bridge.  Barricades have been set up to detour drivers around the still closed bridge. A large chunk of it is missing after the single-vehicle wreck.  The bridge reconstruction could take months to repair.

South Carolina Highway Patrol troopers said a tractor-trailer hauling a boom was heading into Spartanburg on I-585 about 9 a.m. Monday when the boom hit the bridge, causing the boom to come off the truck.

They said the boom was higher than the posted bridge height of 13 feet 10 inches.

SCDOT officials said the bridge was built in 1957, carries two lanes of traffic and consists of four 44-foot concrete "T" beam spans. The average daily traffic is 4,700.

Officials said the impact of the truck severely damaged several beams and caused the span to shift five feet on the caps. The outside beam is hanging in the air being supported by the deck and a 24-inch waterline that is attached to the bridge. Traffic on I-585 has been shut down and is being detoured.

The bridge had been scheduled for replacement as part of the I-585 rehabilitation project with a planned September bid letting.

Doug Bryson, of Spartanburg County Emergency Management, says this stretch of I-585 is a major route for ambulances because of its proximity to Spartanburg Regional Medical Center.

Bryson said his agency is making sure all ambulances and other emergency crews know this area is not currently accessible.

Troopers said the driver of the tractor-trailer will be charged with losing his load.

They said more charges could be filed by transport police.

The highway patrol website first reported injuries in the incident but now says no one was injured.

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