HORRY COUNTY (WMBF) - The contractor repairing a bridge on Highway 701 has wrapped up the project early, ending the nightly road closures.
The bridge over Yauhannah Lake was closed nightly due to repairs, sending many drivers on a 51 mile detour.
The SC Dept. of Transportation reports they won't need to any longer. The project has been completed two weeks early.
Almost 60 years old, the bridge needed improvements to two areas and crews installed steel beams to stop the foundation from settling.
The bridge is highly traveled for residents near the Horry-Georgetown county line by the Great Pee Dee River, and several people had to drive out of there way.
"They're going to have to leave home earlier and leave in time to be able to cross the bridge onto the Georgetown side where they live," explains Connie Jordan, who regularly travels over the bridge.
The detour brought traffic approximately 51 miles from the intersection of Browns Ferry Road and North Fraser Street to the south near Georgetown. It will brought traffic from the intersection of North Fraser Street and Lucas Bay Road to the north in Horry County.
"We'll be doing our shopping in Georgetown now because the distance is just too far away, plus the cost of gas is a huge factor," expresses Jordan.
While the closures made their commute longer, most drivers were just glad the construction project will also make it safer.
"It will be worth the inconvenience if the bridge is fixed to be safe, that's the first thing I think of," says Jordan.