CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Emergency officials are cautioning motorists that traveling on some Lowcountry bridges many not be possible due to storm winds on Wednesday.
Officials with the South Carolina Emergency Management Division say that beginning Wednesday afternoon, travel may not be possible on the following high level, coastal bridges due to safety concerns brought on by expected tropical storm force winds:
- McTeer Bridge (US 21 ALT) in Beaufort County
- Don Holt Bridge over the Cooper River (I-526) in Berkeley County
- Stono River Bridge (SC 700) in Charleston County
- Ravenel Bridge & Ramps (US 17) in Charleston County
- Wando River Bridge (I-526) in Charleston County
- Wando Bridge (SC 41) in Charleston County
- Isle of Palms Connector (SC 517) in Charleston County
- Bridge over the Sam Pit River (US 17) in Georgetown County
- Bridge over the Intercoastal Waterway at Socastee (US 17) in Horry County
- Little River Bridge (US 17) in Horry County
- Pee Dee River Bridge (US 701) in Horry County
Emergency officials in Charleston County say bridges do not close during hurricanes or tropical storms.
However, they will alert drivers when conditions are not safe with various warning levels. You can find them here.
There are two different warnings during storms that produce high winds.
One warning is condition yellow when winds are sustained at 30 mph. In this case, officials say box-type trucks, tractor trailers, motor homes and vehicles pulling trailers or boats should not use bridges that are high span which are 65 feet or higher or exposed bridges.
The next warning level is condition red where winds are sustained at 40 mph. In this case, high span bridges become unsafe for anyone to travel. Charleston County officials say anyone driving over bridges in condition red is doing so at their own risk.
The county warns the public that there could also be unexpected and dangerous wind gusts of higher speeds.
Draw bridges and swing bridges that can be mechanically opened to allow for tall boat traffic to pass through from the water will be locked down to boat traffic when sustained winds reach 25 mph or greater.
Here's a list of high span bridges or exposed bridges in Charleston County:
- Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge
- Ashley River ridges (old and new bridges)
- Ben Sawyer Bridge (Sullivan’s Island Bridge)
- Breech Inlet Bridge (connects Isle of Palms to Sullivan’s Island)
- Cosgrove Bridge (the “North Bridge”)
- Dawhoo River Bridge (on Edisto Highway SC 174)
- Don Holt Bridge (I-526 over the Cooper River between North Charleston and Daniel Island)
- Isle of Palms Connector
- James Island Connector
- Limehouse Bridge
- McKinley Washington Bridge (the “Edisto Bridge”: Hwy. 174 over the Edisto River near Edisto Island)
- Stono River Bridge (connects James Island to Johns Island over Maybank Highway)
- Wando River Bridge (I-526 over the Wando River in Mt. Pleasant)
- Wappoo Bridge (connects W. Ashley to James Island)
- Westmoreland Bridge (I-526 over the Ashley River between North Charleston and W. Ashley)