SCDOT College Park Road bridge repairs

Crews with the S.C. Department of Transportation prepare the College Park Road bridge over Interstate 26 in Berkeley County for emergency repairs on Friday, April 12, 2019. Provided

The S.C. Department of Transportation is urging the public to use caution when driving in the area of College Park Road and Interstate 26 in Berkeley County after a bridge over the freeway suffered damage in a crash on Thursday. 

A tractor-trailer carrying an oversized load struck the College Park Road overpass on I-26 Thursday afternoon. Following the crash, SCDOT assessed the damage and has hired a contractor to complete emergency repairs, said James Law, a spokesman for the agency, on Friday. 

As of Friday night, crews from Dorchester and Berkeley counties had worked to remove existing pavement markings; relocate and re-time traffic signals and place equipment in position so that officials could reopen the bridge to traffic in limited lanes while repairs are made, according to the agency. 

"New traffic patterns will be established as preparations are made to begin repairs," officials stated. "Once these changes are implemented, the new traffic pattern will provide two lanes in each direction. One lane will be a through lane, the other will provide left turn access onto I-26."

Additional work to prepare the work zone for repairs is expected throughout the weekend, officials stated.

"New steel beams are being expedited to replace the existing damaged beams," officials stated. "These beams will be transported to South Carolina where additional fabrication and assembly will begin."

Repair work was being expedited in order to restore the bridge to full capacity as soon as possible, officials stated. 

Law warned motorists that anyone who needs to drive in the area should do so with extreme caution and heed all new road markings, barriers and other assets placed by work crews at the bridge.

An estimate of how long repairs would take was not available on Friday.  

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Reach Gregory Yee at 843-937-5908. Follow him on Twitter @GregoryYYee.

Gregory Yee covers breaking news and public safety. He's a native Angeleno and previously covered crime and courts for the Press-Telegram in Long Beach, CA. He studied journalism and Spanish literature at the University of California, Irvine.