State transportation officials have started assessing some roads in Richland County after Sunday’s historic rainfall, discovering more damage as flood waters recede.
“It’s a changing target a little bit for us,” said Christy Hall, acting director of the S.C. Department of Transportation. “We’re still very much in the response mode somewhat.”
Hall did not have a timetable for finishing the state’s assessment of road damage in Richland. That assessment must be completed before repairs can begin.
Richland, which received more than a foot of rain on Sunday, accounts for a third of all road and bridge closures statewide.
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About 125 roads and bridges were closed Friday in the county of the state capital, with more than 50 washed out. Both tallies were slightly higher than the day before.
County leaders said Thursday they would ask for 35 temporary bridges to help make some roads passable.
Gov. Nikki Haley said the state Transportation Department has contract road and bridge engineers ready to work.
Soon after the storm, state transportation crews worked to make sure interstates around Columbia were open because they are being used as a detour around a closed stretch of Interstate 95.
A 13-mile stretch of Interstate 95 in Clarendon County continues to be closed after engineers discovered foundation problems in 33 spots on 18 bridges, Hall said.
Underwater investigations found rivers washed away areas around the bridge foundations, she said.
Traffic is being diverted off I-95 onto I-20 and I-26. Interstate 77 between I-20 and I-26 is part of that detour.
A contractor will work from “daylight to dark” to fix I-95, Hall said, calling it the state’s top road priority.
She did not have a timeline when the main interstate artery along the East Coast would reopen.