North Myrtle Beach swing bridge shuts down

NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The Little River Swing Bridge has been operating since the 1930s, allowing boats to move along the waterway and cars to cross along Sea Mountain Highway.

Now, the bridge is stuck in its open state, which is fine for the boats, but bad for the cars. A damaged six-ton gear box is to blame for the glitch.

"DOT contacted us and let us know that the bridge was temporarily closed down," said a North Myrtle Beach police officer. "I guess there was some sort of issue with it, and it's remaining open until DOT fixes it."

North Myrtle Beach Police were called out to assist with closing down the road, which runs parallel with the U.S. 17 bridge over the waterway. Now, officers said they will have to direct traffic for the time being.

They are advising motorists to utilize U.S 17 or S.C. 9 to avoid the delay.

The bridge, which is owned and operated by the South Carolina Department of Transportation, was built in the 1930s. It underwent renovations in 2005, and can be known to get very busy during the summer months.

Several people stopped to ask questions at the Harbourgate Marina about what was going on with the famous connector.

"You know, I haven't seen it break down very often." said area resident Peter Oler.

Oler added he's been driving across this bridge all his life. He said the closing is inconvenient, especially during the tourist season, but doesn't foresee too many issues.

"They have a new bridge here now, which is nice, so this is just one of the old-time relics," Oler said.

South Carolina Department of Transportation crews will remain on site to repair the bridge. However, with no current timetable, it may be a prolonged closure.

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