Drivers raise concerns about cracked, crumbling bridge

Damage seen on the embankment of bridge. (Source: WMBF News Reporter Evan Lambert)
Damage seen on the embankment of bridge. (Source: WMBF News Reporter Evan Lambert)

NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) Drivers are raising safety concerns after pointing out damage to the foundation of the Main Street Connector bridge in North Myrtle Beach.

The bridge connects SC 31 to Kings Highway, spanning the Intracoastal Waterway.

Representatives with the State Department of Transportation tell WMBF News a member of the public pointed out the damage last week. They say the bridge damage poses no immediate risk, but it does need to be fixed.

Some drivers say they have doubts about DOT's claim that there's no safety risk after seeing the extent of the damage.

"They're saying nobody's at risk? Have they ever had this problem before on any of these bridges? I don't know. I haven't lived here long enough, but from what I saw on your video there. It doesn't look too safe," said Carol Cassel of North Myrtle Beach.

Frank Lancelotta adds he doesn't feel safe driving on the bridge, while Henry Myers isn't worrying.

"If they say they're all right. They're all right. They have a lot of people around here that would know if it was bad or dangerous," said Myers.

An SCDOT engineer says a portion of one of the bridge's joints shifted out of place, allowing water to flow over it and erode the cement. Officials say it'll cost between $100,000 and $200,000 to fix the bridge.

SCDOT's Jason Thompson says there is no definite timeline to fix the bridge, but it should happen within a few weeks. It is still unclear what caused the shift in the bridge's joint.

Thompson adds that all bridges statewide are inspected once every two years and the Main Street Connector was due for an inspection soon.

Related stories:

SCDOT responds to Main Street Connector bridge concerns

Copyright 2012 WMBF News. All rights reserved.