Crews have experienced a small delay during the construction of the new Laurens Street Bridge and, though rain is a factor, it’s not the reason for the slow down.
According to S.C. Department of Transportation’s Jeff Terry, some “subsurface conditions” have caused problems for the type of piles they were using.
Piles are the large, steel beams that make up the foundation of a bridge.
“That design of piles did not give the bearing strength that was desired,” Terry said.
Terry said this resulted in a change in the foundation design, which is close to completion.
Crews from Crowder Construction have continued to work and run tests to assure the new design will work.
Terry said they want to make sure they are building a safe and sound structure.
The construction of the bridge has a tight deadline of 180 days that started April 10. The project must be complete by the end of September to be paid in full by federal Emergency Relief funding.
If the bridge is not done by then, the SCDOT has to pick up 20 percent of the remaining cost.
“This has resulted in something of a delay, but the contractor is making every effort and we’re making every effort to have the job completed by Sept. 28,” Terry said.
The total cost of the bridge replacement project is $2.5 million.
Terry said work should pick up a lot in the coming days and, unfortunately, will get pretty loud again.
Crews will follow the City of Aiken noise ordinance and begin work after 6 a.m. and finish before 10 p.m.
The bridge was closed April 2 after heavy rains caused the southwestern corner to begin sinking, making it unsafe for both vehicles and pedestrians.
A resident noticed their ride over the bridge was a bit bumpier than usual and contacted Aiken Public Safety, who then discovered the problem.
Erosion caused that corner of the bridge to sink several inches.