SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The Department of Transportation has a crucial role after a storm has passed, ensuring that the roads and bridges you return home on are safe.
Many bridges dot the Coastal Empire and the Lowcountry. They connect residents to their friends, their families, their businesses and they must be watched especially close during tropical storms and hurricanes.
Tropical Storm Hermine, Hurricane Matthew, Hurricane Irma all tested our local infrastructure and required action by our local departments of transportation. Roads are often closed ahead of the worst conditions to protect drivers as much as the roadways they are driving on.
As we say, “water is the worst” and poses the greatest threat to local roadways.
“Water... water is definitely more impactful than anything else. We look around the bridge itself for any kind of erosion and then at the bridge or upstream, downstream to look for a problem or check for any kind of drift that may be built up at the bridge,” State Bridge Inspection Manager Keith Pinckard said.
After the worst conditions have passed, GDOT takes a hands-on approach when it comes to inspecting and reopening roadways and bridges that mat have been impacted by surge and wind.
"It's a manual inspection. It's a hands-on visual inspection."
It’s the regimented checklist and decades of experience that ensure the safety of a bridge before it is reopened to folks returning home after evacuating and to people trying to get back to their normal lives.