Loaded 18-wheelers and some heavy fire trucks have been banned from the Leaphart Road overpass over I-26 in Lexington County.
The state Department of Transportation erected signs Wednesday and issued an announcement Friday.
District maintenance engineer Robert Dickinson said the overpass near heavily traveled U.S. 378 already was scheduled to be rebuilt. But two or three collisions on I-26 at the overpass during the past two weeks weakened its structural integrity to the point that heavy vehicles can no longer use it, he said.
The weight limit is 8 tons per axle or a total of 33 tons, the agency said in a statement.
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The most recent traffic count, taken last year, found that an average of 10,600 vehicles cross the overpass daily, Dickinson said.
Drivers barred from crossing on Leaphart Road may detour to Harbor Drive on the west side of the interstate or Chris Drive on the east, the maintenance engineer said. Sunset Boulevard (also known as U.S. 378) also is an alternate route.
Before the most recent collisions along I-26, replacement of the overpass was set for competitive bidding in June or July.
Typically, construction begins within a month of the selection of a contractor, and construction takes six months to a year to complete, Dickinson said.
He did not know Friday whether the construction timetable will be accelerated.