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SC Bridge Closed After Cable Breaks

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

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A bridge carrying Interstate 526 over the Wando River in Charleston, South Carolina, was shut down Monday (May 14) after a cable inside the precast concrete span failed, the second to do so in less than two years.

The James B. Edwards Bridge, built in 1989 and opened in 1991, reportedly carries more than 45,000 vehicles daily, and its westbound span remained closed entirely Tuesday as crews worked to repair the cable inside one of the twin post-tensioned segmental box-girder spans. The bridge has a history of problems stretching back years, including another instance of a cable breaking.

In late 2016, the South Carolina Department of Transportation shut down lanes on the same span of the bridge to provide access for workers making repairs after a cable was found during a routine inspection to have been damaged. SCDOT stressed at the time that one cable breaking in the bridge’s concrete structure does not pose an immediate threat to the structure.

In 2012, the agency had authorized repairs to the foundations of some of the bridge’s piers, which were exhibiting scour.

Prior to that, in 2011, a paper authored by a group of Clemson University engineers used the bridge as a case study, noting that SCDOT had identified problems including “improper grouting of ducts, leaky joints, debris in the box void, clogged drain holes (3/4 inch diameter) and cracks in the piers.”

The bridge was designed by FIGG and built at a cost of $34 million.

SCDOT said the closure of the westbound span would last at least two days, and an investigation is underway to determine what caused the cable failure.


Tagged categories: Bridges; Infrastructure; Roads/Highways

Comment from Thomas Van Hooser, (5/16/2018, 8:06 AM)

The designer of this bridge is same as the pedestrain bridge collaspse in Maimi not long ago.

Comment from Thomas Van Hooser, (5/16/2018, 8:23 AM)

it seems to me that the cable enclosure hinders proper inspection and maintenance of the cable. The investigation will be interesting to follow.

Comment from Robert Bullard, (5/16/2018, 8:50 AM)

Given the history starting with the Clemson report, a gravity deformation monitoring and recording system correlated with real time traffic usage and including alerts for defined short term deformation magnitude ranges.

Comment from Tim Williams, (5/16/2018, 10:25 AM)

We ran into a situation whereby the painted stranded cable(s) appeared to be retaining, and leaking, water after a rain storm. Is anything other than a visual(eg., CR ) being performed on the cables for possible internal corrosion? [From external environmental forces]

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