Weather and winds permitting, the Ben Sawyer Bridge from Mount Pleasant to Sullivan's Island will close to the traveling public for 10 days starting Dec. 4 so the new bridge swing span can be installed, according to the state Department of Transportation.
Also, the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway will close in the vicinity of the bridge beginning at 8 a.m. Dec. 1 so that the work can be done, according to Julie Hussey of Civic Communications, Inc., spokeswoman for the bridge contractor. Information about how long the Waterway will be closed to boaters was not immediately available Tuesday.
The new span is being constructed in North Charleston at the old Navy Base and will be brought to the site by barge. The old swing span will be removed, and the new swing span slid into place. "The winds have to be calm enough," said Pete Poore, state DOT communications director.
Islanders insisted that the design of the new bridge mirror that of the existing bridge, which dates to World War II. The current 12-foot-wide car lanes will be increased to 14 feet on the new bridge. The 2.5-foot-wide bike and pedestrian paths on both sides of the bridge will become one 5-foot-wide path on the harbor side of the bridge. The new path will be elevated 10 inches above the pavement.
Read more in Wednesday's editions of The Post and Courier.