SCDOT says recent inspection shows Highway 501 bridge is structurally sound

Published: Mar. 21, 2023 at 8:42 PM EDT
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - Drivers are expressing concerns regarding the conditions of the Highway 501 overpass bridge across Highway 701 in Conway. The South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) said the bridge is safe and structurally sound.

The bridge, which sees over 36,000 drivers daily, is one of the state’s most traveled bridges.

Resident and owner of Taste Lounge in Georgetown County, Demmerio Greene, says he travels on this bridge every single day.

“I got kids and a wife, so of course, we take this ride all the time. Usually, our routine is when they get out of school, they go to Georgetown because my mom is their babysitter, so of course it’s [the bridge] part on my ride. Safety is paramount, so I’m always worried about my kids and my wife,” said Greene.

SCDOT said in a statement they routinely inspect the bridge and said inspectors were just here this past August.

“The bridge is not load-restricted at this time. There are steel elements supporting the structure inside the concrete, and those steel beams and reinforcing structures are safe and functioning properly” SCDOT said in the statement.

WMBF News filed a Freedom of Information Act Request for that inspection report.

Although residents pointed out cracks in the beams, the agency says there are steel beams inside the concrete that are working just fine.

Residents say it’s the look of the bridge that worries them.

The state has identified needed repairs on 2,119 bridges at an estimated cost of $2.5 billion, according to The American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA).

Stay with WMBF News for updates.