Highway reopens, motorists cautious

Published: Nov. 20, 2011 at 12:15 AM EST|Updated: Nov. 20, 2011 at 5:10 PM EST
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GEORGETOWN, SC (WMBF) The South Carolina Department of Transportation reopened a closed portion of Highway 17 in Georgetown Saturday after a sinkhole caused significant damage to the road and nearby buildings.

SCDOT officials inspected the area around the sinkhole, which partially collapsed a building near Highmarket Street late Thursday night. They reinforced the road with concrete and determined it was safe for travel, but they said they would continue to monitor the road for a significant amount of time.

Some drivers in the area say they're hesitant to take a drive on the road, while a significant amount of damage is still visible.

"It was like nothing I've ever seen," said motorist Jody Smith. "It looked to me like a bomb went off. I definitely won't be going out on the road as much for a while."

Motorists are also expressing frustration with the amount of barrels, barricades, and closed lanes around Highway 17. So while the highway may be reopened, it's slow going along the damaged area.

Fire officials in Georgetown say that a slow commute beats the alternative.

"Unfortunately, it is inconvenient for motorists and residents and we apologize," said Assistant Fire Chief Bill Johnson. "But at the same time, we need to be as safe as possible."

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