Officials with the South Carolina Department of Transportation hope to have the marine portion of the demolition of the old Great Pee Dee River Bridge on U.S. 701 South completed within the next two months.
The Great Pee Dee River bridge, along with the Yauhannah Lake and Great Pee Dee River Overflow bridge were all rebuilt in the last two years, since the old bridges were determined to be both “structurally deficient” and “functionally obsolete” by the S.C. Department of Transportation.
The bridges connect Horry and Georgetown counties.
A $47.5 million design-build contract was awarded to PCL, Inc., a company based out of Raleigh, N.C., to handle the initial bridge work. The company was responsible for getting the required environmental construction permits, as well as designing the bridges, in addition to securing the rights-of-way and helping with engineering.
The Great Pee Dee and Overflow bridges were completed last year, and traffic used the old Yauhannah bridge while it was completed. Traffic opened to the new Yauhannah Bridge in early spring of this year.
PCL is now working to finish the marine demolition portion and is about halfway through, according to SCDOT.
Most of the demo activity is not going to be a problem for the general public, according to Derrick Tindal, SCDOT resident structural engineer.
“Most of it may be done at night to be able to perform [crane] picks and load material,” Tindal said. “…free travel on the new structure. The public shouldn’t see a big impact.”
Twenty-six of the 51 total crane picks were completed in just five and a half weeks, according to a SCDOT press release.
While each pick varies in size, the heaviest pic weighs almost 150 tons, or 300,000 pounds. The Clyde 32 crane barge they are using can safely pick up to 170 tons, or 340,000 pounds, and still have a complete 360-degree range of motion.
Work is also underway to improve the boat ramp and parking lot on both sides of the Great Pee Dee River bridge.
Dirt grading work is happening now, and once the dirt fill is in place, it will be covered with an 8-inch stone base and covered with a two-inch Hot Mix Asphalt surface course, according to SCDOT.