A broken cable underneath the James B. Edwards Bridge on the Wando River forced officials to close part of the Mark Clark Expressway on Monday. The cable is believed to have snapped sometime in the last month, as the South Carolina Department of Transportation inspects the bridge on a regular basis.
On Monday, inspectors discovered that one of the eight large cables holding the bridge’s concrete sections together had broken. The westbound side of the bridge was immediately shut down and the South Carolina Department of Transportation announced that the bridge would be closed for at least two days for assessment.
The James B. Edwards Bridge was completed in 1989 and was designed by the FIGG Engineering Group. The Florida-based engineering firm also designed the pedestrian bridge that recently collapsed on the campus of the Florida International University. The James B. Edwards Bridge cost $32 million to build and is of a box girder design, a type that is uncommon in South Carolina. The bridge is 7,900 feet long and includes 92 different cables.
This is not the first time the bridge has had structural issues. Soon after it was completed, the bridge’s joints had to be replaced after they started rupturing. In October 2016, another large cable had to be repaired after inspections revealed that it was damaged..
The Wando Bridge on South Carolina Highway 41 was just completed in July 2017. Drivers attempting to travel to Daniel Island will have to detour to the Wando Bridge. They can also drive all the way through Charleston to enter the island on the west side using the Don N. Holt Bridge that spans the Cooper River. Drivers attempting to journey to Mount Pleasant from Charleston can use the eastbound lanes on the James B. Edwards Bridge or opt to use the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge.