Bridge building deadline past
The deadline to complete the Laurens Street bridge is today, but crews are still at work.
S.C. Department of Transportation’s Jeff Terry said Thursday afternoon that the bridge would not be open to traffic today, but that B.K. Crowder Constructions crews are close to finishing the structure.
“They are making every effort. They’re working hard and steady,” Terry said.
Terry said there is a little bit of concrete work left, as well as finishing the roadway itself. Terry anticipates the bridge to be complete in a few days, weather permitting.
Once the bridge is complete, SC DOT will review the possibility of liquidated damages.
In the contract between Crowder Construction and SC DOT, the contractor could pay about $10,000 each day past deadline, which would help offset what the state has to pay for the project.
Terry said they will consider delays that were out of the construction company’s control.
Weather and an issue with the foundation were reasons behind delays in construction.
According to SC DOT officials, the bridge had to be operational or open to traffic by today, which is the end of 180-day period that it had to be completed by to be covered 100 percent by Federal Relief Funding.
Now that it’s past that deadline, SC DOT has to pay 20 percent of the remaining cost of the bridge replacement.
The project costs approximately $2.5 million.
The bridge has been closed since April 2 after the southwestern corner began sinking following heavy rains.
After further inspection, it was determined the bridge had to be replaced entirely.
The project was then approved for federal Emergency Relief Funding, and the 180-day clock started ticking on April 10.
Crews began demolishing the bridge in mid-June.
In early August, heavier work stalled after an issue with the foundation of the bridge was discovered.
The foundation was redesigned to ensure the structure would be stable.
In mid-August, B.K. Crowder Construction requested a variance to the City of Aiken’s noise ordinance, which was granted allowing crews to work 5 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.