The state Department of Transportation has scrapped a plan to replace the Burden Creek Bridge on Johns Island, which would have required the closure of a portion of River Road for about 65 days over the summer.
State Rep. Robert Brown, D-Hollywood, said many of his constituents complained about the road closure and the detour it would cause, especially because it would happen during the hurricane season and during the busy beach season. Many vehicles are crossing Johns Island on their way to beaches on Kiawah and Seabrook islands during the summer, he said.
The proposed detour could have forced some island residents to have to drive an additional 10 to 15 miles, he said.
Brown said he’s pleased the DOT isn’t replacing the bridge right now. He thinks the structure has some life left in it, so the DOT can take more time to figure out how to replace it with less impact on traffic.
Brown had written to the DOT about his concerns.
Leland Colvin, the DOT’s acting deputy secretary for engineering, responded to him in a Jan. 5 letter, telling him the plan to replace the bridge had been put aside because it was too expensive. “The bids we received were significantly higher than the engineer’s estimate,” he said.
Brent Rewis, the DOT’s program manager, said he can’t release the engineer’s estimate because that could affect the cost when the project again goes out for bid.
A new construction plan and date haven’t yet been set, Colvin said.
Reach Diane Knich at 843-937-5491 or on Twitter @dianeknich.