Highest percentage of substandard bridges in Charleston County

Charleston County has the highest percentage of substandard bridges in the state, with the worst of the bunch being the twin drawbridges over the Ashley River, according to AAA Carolinas.

Some 42 percent of county bridges are either functionally obsolete or structurally deficient, according to the organization.

However, the public need not worry, said Lee Floyd, state bridge maintenance engineer.

“It doesn’t mean that the bridge is unsafe. Anything unsafe would be restricted to a safe (weight) level or closed. We have a good bridge inspection program,” he said.

Floyd said functionally obsolete and structurally deficient are U.S. Federal Highway Administration terms that raise a red flag.

The only bridges in Charleston County identified in the AAA Carolinas report as having both issues are the double drawbridges over the Ashley River.

The drawbridges, built in 1961, are in good shape, Floyd said.

The state Department of Transportation is monitoring erosion around part of their foundation caused by tidal currents, he said.

“It seems to be holding its own. It’s not getting any worse. We know about it and we’re keeping an eye on it. It’s nothing to worry about,” he said.

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