SCDOT expects to reopen Wando Bridge Saturday

MOUNT PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) - South Carolina Department of Transportation officials say they expect to reopen the westbound Wando Bridge this Saturday, weather permitting.

South Carolina Sec. of Transportation Christy Hall made the announcement at a news conference Thursday.

The westbound lanes have been closed for just over two weeks because of a snapped cable inside the bridge. While detours and an I-526 crossover lane are in place, many drivers have still complained about traffic headaches around the Lowcountry. SCDOT says traffic is improving daily because of the crossover lane, Engineering Deputy Sec. Leland Colvin told reporters an additional cable is being added during repairs.

As of the last SCDOT update eight days ago, Colvin said forensic testing is still underway on the cable, the sheath, steel strands and even the grout at the failed location inside the bridge.

In the meantime, Gov. Henry McMaster has asked for the State Infrastructure Bank to approve completion of I-526 over James and Johns Island. He also wants a full audit of SCDOT.

Two other detours are also available. The first detour takes drivers from Highway 17N to Highway 41, then to Clements Ferry Road and back to I-526. The second goes from 17S across the Ravenel Bridge and out to I-26 westbound. Officials decided to split the I-26 on-ramp into two lanes during rush hour in order to try and alleviate traffic. 

CARTA has also announced revised routes to help people get around the closure.

June 11, the date SCDOT has scheduled to reopen the bridge, is just 10 days away. 

This is a developing story. Please check with Live 5 News for updates.

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