Ravenel Bridge reopens after being shut down for two days

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) -- With much of the Lowcountry trying to return to normal after the first winter blast of the year, the open bridges and roadways are packed with commuters.

At 3 p.m. Thursday, both sides of the Ravenel Bridge were reopened for the first time since Tuesday night. Officials still warned that there are icy spots on the bridge and urged people to be careful.{}

The pedestrian lane is still closed.

As the bridge opened, the National Weather Service issued a freezing rain advisory for an area that runs from Edisto Beach, through Charleston, and to McClellanville and Moncks Corner. That alert is in effect until midnight.{}

The NWS said the rain may create additional icy patches on roads around the Lowcountry, including Charleston County, coastal Colleton County, and southeastern portions of Berkeley County.{}

Crews spent the morning treating the surface of the bridge with calcium chloride brine solution to melt the ice.

According to an ABCNews4 crew that was escorted Thursday afternoon over the Ravenel Bridge, the areas between the lanes are still iced over while the lanes are fairly clear. That means changing lanes could mean problems on the bridge at the moment.{}

Also, the news crew said that looking up the I-26 ramp from the Ravenel Bridge, it appears to be covered in ice still.{}

James Law, the director of the DOT, said officials made the decision Wednesday to focus first on the Don Holt Bridge because it ties so heavily into the interstate system and has fewer lanes, so it would be easier to open.{}


As conditions worsened with nightfall Tuesday, officials across the Lowcountry started closing bridges to keep drivers safe.{}

For a brief period, officials opened the Don Holt Bridge, but said it would only remain open while the roadway was not iced over.

"As of 3:30 p.m. today, January 29, the Don Holt Bridge is open to public commuter traffic. This was a collective effort by Charleston County Government, the Charleston County Sheriff's office, City of Charleston, and the Town of Mount Pleasant," city officials said in a statement.

Department of Transportation road crews are being moved from the Don Holt to the Ravenel Bridge. In fact, the SCDOT's 4 p.m. update for the zone focused heavily on the Ravenel Bridge.{}

"There is a very real concern for pedestrian and bicycle traffic on the Ravenel Bridge for falling ice from the overhead cables. It is recommended that pedestrian and bicycle traffic is restricted until ice melts and that threat is gone," the update reads.{}

Resources are being focused on the Ravenel Bridge and additional resources are being directed to Charleston to assist with their efforts.

At 9 a.m., the Ravenel Bridge and the Don Holt Bridge had been closed since Tuesday night. The Berlin G. Myers Parkway is closed, and the Bowman Road overpass over Highway 17 was closed.{}

On Interstate 26, the Romney Street exit is closed and the bridges in Georgetown are closed.

Early Wednesday morning, police in Mount Pleasant shut down the Wando Bridge and started directing traffic to Long Point Road. It was reopened a few minutes later.

However, the Georgetown exit of the Mark Clark Expressway was shut down Wednesday morning. Around 6 a.m., conditions forced officials to close the Ben Sawyer Bridge.

At 6:30 a.m., the Isle of Palms Connector was closed. Shortly before 9 a.m. it reopened. By 8 a.m., the Ben Sawyer Bridge was reopened.

The first bridge to close was the southbound lanes of the Ravenel Bridge shortly before 8 p.m.{}Officials reported ice being on the bridge.

About 45 minutes later, Charleston police on the other side of the bridge closed northbound lanes of the bridge.{}

Shortly after 9 p.m., police in Mount Pleasant closed the Ben Sawyer Bridge. It was reopened shortly before midnight, according to officials with the Charleston County Consolidated Dispatch.

By 9:30 p.m., the Don Holt Bridge had been closed.{}

No information was given as to how long the bridges would remain closed.{}

According to Charleston County, bus traffic to the warming centers around the county was stopped Tuesday night around 8 p.m. due to the deteriorating road conditions.

In Georgetown County, police responded to two wrecks on bridges and urged people to stay indoors and off the roads.{}

In Hilton Head, bridges are open in both directions and the SCDOT has sanded the roadway to prevent icing. However, officials there are still asking people to stay off the roads unless it's necessary.{}

Stay with{}for more information on the winter blast.{}


Here are the largest ice and snow amounts from each of South Carolina's 46 counties as reported to the National Weather Service. Jasper County did not have any reports.

CountyLocationAmount in inchesSnowCalhounSandy Run4MarlboroBennettsville4ChesterfieldPageland3.5RichlandIrmo3.3DillonDillon3OrangeburgOrangeburg3EdgefieldEdgefield3KershawLugoff3LexingtonPelion3WilliamsburgCades3OconeeSalem2.8AikenAiken2.5DarlingtonHartsville2.5GreenwoodHodges2.5LeeBishopville2.5SaludaMonetta2.5LancasterKershaw2.3BarnwellBarnwell2FairfieldWinnsboro2FlorenceFlorence2LaurensJoanna2LexingtonSwansea2MarionNichols2McCormickMcCormick2PickensClemson2SumterSumter2YorkYork2AndersonBelton1.5ChesterChester1.5NewberryNewberry1.5GreenvilleGreenville1.3SpartanburgBoiling Springs1.3UnionUnion1.3AbbevilleAbbeville1AllendaleSeigling1CherokeeGaffney0.5{}IceCountyLocationAmount in inchesColletonWalterboro1ClarendonSummerton0.75BambergBamberg0.5BerkeleyCross0.5DorchesterSummerville0.5GeorgetownHemingway0.5HorryGarden City0.5CharlestonNorth Charleston0.3BeaufortPort Royal0.25HamptonHampton0.25
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