DOT: Replacement bridge will be up in 180 days, to cost $2 million

GOOSE CREEK, S.C. (WCIV) -- State Department of Transportation officials said Wednesday that they were going to build a new bridge to replace the collapsed Cypress Gardens Road bridge as quickly as possible.

Officials said it would take about 180 days and will cost $2 million.

According to a release from the DOT, they weighed several options and decided it was most beneficial to replace the bridge quickly using emergency funds.

"The Emergency Declaration signed by Governor Haley on Tuesday afternoon, less than 24 hours after the bridge collapse was a significant factor in expediting FHWA emergency funding for SCDOT. We greatly appreciate the Governor's help in this matter," said Acting SCDOT Secretary Christy Hall.

While the construction project begins and the bridge is being built, the DOT has created a 22-mile detour around the area.

The bridge collapsed as a result of a CSX train derailment, according to the governor's office.

The collapse also broke a 12-inch water main that disrupted service to residents and businesses. Berkeley Water crews have installed a temporary water main and a boil water advisory was lifted on Wednesday.

Meanwhile in the small Bushy Park community, residents are still processing what happened on Cypress Gardens Road. Monday started off like any other for James Green.

Green says he was on his way to work when he drove up to the scene of the train crash.

"I noticed a guy standing in the road waving for me and guy in front of me to stop. So, we stopped I rolled my window down and he told me that the bridge was out and the train was underneath," Green said.

On Monday night, officials say the Cypress Garden Road bridge collapsed on top of four empty CSX train cars. Green called 911.

"I don't know if it hit the bridge or if the bridge hit it but it is completely derailed and the bridge is apart," he told a dispatcher.

DOT officials now say it was the train that caused the accident.

"Nothing with the bridge condition contributed to what you see here. This is purely an accident from the railroad where a car appears to have derailed and took out the substructure of the bridge," said Hall. "And, of course if you take out the substructure of the bridge, there's nothing to hold the rest of the bridge up."

Hall says the bridge was built in 1936 and was just inspected in October and was in satisfactory condition, meaning outside of age it was still usable. Inspections are broken into three different components -- the deck, superstructure, and substructure -- and each component is given a number from 0 to 9.

The Cypress Gardens Road bridge was given a rating of 5-5-6, right in the middle of the scale.

"Fair and satisfactory means just that; that it is in fair and satisfactory condition based on the measured elements of the bridge, of visual inspection as well as some other inspection techniques that we use," Hall said.

Now, it's on to rebuilding what was destroyed. Hall says it will take more than a month just to design a replacement.

"We have to design a structure and then construct that structure," Hall said. "We'll be doing concurrent design and construction at the same time basically on the replacement structure in order to expedite delivery.

Hall said it would probably take 45 days for construction crews to show up at the site and start the build.

For now though, the CSX rail line has reopened but the roadway will remain closed.