The US Route 176/Broad River Road Bridge Replacement project over the Broad River in Richland County has opened to traffic, according to the South Carolina Department of Transportation.
The bridge is near Greystone Boulevard.
"I am very pleased that the project team has reached this milestone and returned the road to the motoring public,” John N. Hardee, SC DOT commissioner, said. “We would like to thank the community for its patience throughout work on this challenging project.”
The bridge needed replacement due to structural deficiencies including piers that were cracking, movement/shifting and scour (erosion around the bridge piers).
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The new structure meets current safety standards and avoids the possibility of weight-restricting vehicles on the bridge if the old structure was left in place. The new bridge is 89 feet wide and 1,1126 feet long, sidewalks were built on each side of the bridge and there are four-foot wide bike lanes in each direction, two travel lanes in each direction and a median.
The new bridge also replaces two separate structures, which were built decades ago. The bridge spans over the Columbia Canal, a registered historic landmark, and the Broad River.
Because it spans a historic landmark, SCDOT coordinated with the State Historic Preservation Office throughout the project’s development to ensure that the new structure was true to the feel of the old bridge. The old bridge was actually two structures.
The original structure, a structural arch, was constructed in 1928. The structure was later widened using structural steel beams in 1972 Remaining work includes installing arches on the bridge, installing bridge lighting, paving side roads and linking to the pedestrian walkway beneath the bridge. Approximately 23,000 vehicles use the bridge each day.