New Broad River Road Bridge opens to traffic

New Broad River Road Bridge opens to traffic

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A WIS investigation revealed a Midlands bridge project a decade in the making, was behind schedule and millions of dollars over budget.

Despite the Broad River Road Bridge being open to traffic this afternoon, more work still needs to be done.

According to the South Carolina Department of Transportation, approximately 23,000 -thousand vehicles use this bridge each day.

"It's definitely nice to finally get it open to full configuration," said Chris Kelly with SCDOT.

Preliminary engineering activity started in late 2004. Actual replacement began years later.

"Early 2010, so we're around 4 1/2 years at this point," Kelly said.

Anticipated to only take 3 and a half years, engineers ran into some issues.

"The rock hardiness in the river was much harder than anticipated originally," Kelly said. "That took a lot more time and equipment to drill through."

The longer timeline, means more money, too. Originally projected to cost $19 million, the price tag is now at $25 million.

"Probably March before we're completed and out of the project itself completely," Kelly said.

There are still a few things left to finish.

Arches, which are purely for looks, need to be installed and one side of the road needs lamp posts.

"The bridge itself is complete," Kelly said. "Roadway is complete."

The final step will be linking a pedestrian walkway beneath the bridge.

SCDOT officials said additional paving on side roads will begin tomorrow, and lamp posts will be installed next week.

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