Bridge built in 1955 near Tega Cay ruled unstable, suddenly closed

Bridge built in 1955 near Tega Cay ruled unstable, suddenly closed

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by RAD BERKY / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @RadBerkywcnc

WCNC.com

Posted on January 12, 2013 at 12:17 AM

TEGA CAY, S.C. -- The sudden closure of a bridge on New Grey Rock Road near Tega Cay has caught a lot of drivers by surprise.

"I didn't know anything about that being closed," said driver Ken Surbough, as he was forced to turn around.

The South Carolina Department of Transportation ordered the bridge closed on Thursday, calling it unstable. The bridge is supported by wooden beams and the water flowing below has eaten away the ground around them.

"I'll just have to go the other way," said one driver, who shrugged as she turned around.

That "other way" is a three and a half mile detour that takes drivers around the bridge that was built back in 1955.

Driver Shane Whitworth said, "It'll cause a problem for sure but they need to get it fixed."

There are signs three-tenths of a mile from the bridge warning that it is closed, but many drivers could be seen Friday night driving right past it, only to return minutes later.

"Well, I wasn't sure of the mileage so I thought I could get to a cut through," said Surbough, as he headed off to follow the detour.

Shannon Shassberger lives next to the bridge where the final barricade is located.

"There was probably 20 cars I think that came, and they'd fly up to that point and then they'd realize it and slam on their brakes and turn around in our driveway," she said.

The road the bridge is located on borders the sprawling Baxter Village development and there are an estimated 1,500 cars that use it each day.

Next week, a spokesperson for the Department of Transportation said the DOT will decide if the bridge can be repaired or will have to be torn down and replaced.

Pete Poore with the DOT said he expected money from the Federal Highway Administration would be available to cover the cost.

So residents and drivers will have to wait for word on what is going to happen to the bridge and how long it will be closed.

"Well, the trip to Walmart won't be quite as easy," said Shassberger.

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