Bridge near Loris still out after Hurricane Matthew

Bridge near Loris still out after Hurricane Matthew

From WMBF News partner

By Scott Harper

When Hurricane Matthew barreled through the area in October, it initially caused the closing of nearly 160 Horry County roads plus more than a dozen state highways.

Now, a portion of only one road in the county remains impassable because it was washed out by the floodwaters that accompanied the storm.

That one road is Highway 19 East in the Allsbrook community.

Barricades have been in place near the Bug Swamp bridge since the hurricane struck the area. Those who use the road have had to deal with a short detour.

Shannon Welsh, resident maintenance engineer for the South Carolina Department of Transportation, said it could be as long as November before the bridge is replaced.

Welsh said the contractor hired to do the job was also hired to replace two other damaged bridges that are not in Horry County.

The priority was given to those two bridges because they are on roads with more daily traffic than Highway 19 East.

Welsh said the contract dictates all three bridges must be complete by November.

Welsh said another thing that has caused the delay is SCDOT required a hydrology study be conducted before the work could be put up for bids.

While he does not know exactly when the work to replace the bridge will begin, Welsh said the work on the two other bridges the contractor is building is expected to be finished by mid-July.

Dale Tyler lives close to the washed-out bridge and said the road closure has made his neighborhood a lot quieter.

"We don't have the traffic right now. Highway 19 is a cut-through road where you can cross Allsbrook and shoot through Hickory Grove and then into Conway," he said. "The log trucks and container trucks they use it to get to Conway then to Georgetown and or Wando."

He said if he sees someone driving fast on the road he knows they are a new person and will soon see them coming back once they reach the washout.

He said the detour has added about five minutes to the drive to and from his home.

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