AAA: Florence Co. fairs well on list of worst bridges

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - AAA Carolina' has rank the bridges in the state that are substandard and found that Florence County has the least percentage of bridges with deficiencies.

The most substandard bridge in the state for the twelfth year in a row carries the weight of over 500,000 vehicles each week, AAA Carolinas' says. That Interstate 26 bridge in Richland County is 55-years-old, passing over the C.N. and L. Railroad just three miles northwest of Columbia

A majority of the bridges topping this list were found in Spartanburg, Greenville, Charleston and Anderson counties.

Calhoun, Florence, Williamsburg and Hampton counties have the least amount of substandard bridges.

But comparatively, South Carolina has less substandard bridges than North Carolina. However, the bridges in Tennessee and Georgia are in far better condition that those in the Palmetto State.

South Carolina has the lowest highway funding per mile in the country, with the fourth-largest state-maintained highway system, covering more than 41,000 miles.

"Inadequate funding for road and bridge maintenance over the past decade means we still have a significant number of substandard bridges in South Carolina," said David E. Parsons, president and CEO of AAA Carolinas. "We need to find new sources of funding for our state's Department of Transportation."

Overall, the AAA Carolinas' 2013 rankings found:

  • The average age of AAA Carolinas' top 20 substandard bridges in South Carolina is 53 years, compared to 57 last year.
  • The top 20 substandard bridges on AAA Carolinas' list carry an average of 53,645 vehicles daily.
  • Combined, the top 20 bridges carry more than 7.5 million vehicles each week.
  • A total of 1,823 bridges are substandard, down 57 from the 1,880 bridges listed in AAA's 2012 report.

As for the Grand Strand and Pee Dee:

The two worst bridges in Horry County vary greatly in age. Ranking at number 29 is the bridge on State Road 616 over the Intracoastal Waterway 10.5 miles south of Conway. You may know it as the Socastee Swing Bridge.

Built in 1935, it was rated this high on the list for being structurally deficient and functionally obsolete.

Next on the list for Horry County are the north and southbound bridges on Highway 501 with cross the George Bishop Parkway. Ranking at 39 and 40, both were built in 2004 and are said to be functionally obsolete.

Florence County's worst bridge ranked as number 99 on the list. It's the bridge on Highway 76 over Lake Swamp just one mile northeast of Timmonsville. It was built in 1935.

This bridge was rated "both structurally deficient and functionally obsolete with a sufficiency rating of 24.7 out of 100, which is really bad," said Angela Vogel Daley, Public Relations Manager for AAA Carolinas.

And ranking at number 115 is State Road 29 Jefferies Creek at Cashua Street. It was built in 1964 and rated functionally obsolete.

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