SOCASTEE, S.C. (WBTW) — The Socastee swing bridge is still closed to traffic after last week’s deadly crash, and it is impacting some of the areas businesses.
SCDOT said last Tuesday that the repairs would take “at least a week.” Crews were out all day Monday working on the beam and the traffic gates that were damaged from the crash, but there is still no official word yet on its exact reopening date.
The repairs have caused longer commutes for some Conway, Forestbrook and other Horry County residents.
“That extra time and extra traffic that’s backing up is just making it a little bit more hard each day,” said Debbie Morris, a Forestbrook resident.
SCDOT said safety is its top priority and until the bridge is safe for traffic, it will remain closed.
The road just before the bridge is still open, but since it feeds into the swing bridge, Dick Pond Road and one restaurant just off of it, it has a lot less traffic than usual.
“Honestly I’m more concerned about River City Cafe on the other side because the way the sign is put, I don’t think customers are going all the way down to their business,” said Marnie Kennedy, owner of The Porch.
However, signs along neighboring roads remind drivers that River City Cafe is still open.
The Porch, a restaurant on the other side of the bridge on Peachtree Road, said the crash has had a different impact on them.
“If anything, if you ask our customers, they’re probably enjoying it because they’re able to leave our parking lot a lot easier without the westbound traffic from the bridge,” Kennedy said.
The swing bridge is one of Socastee’s historic landmarks, dating back to the mid 1930s. Some residents think it is important to maintain the bridge and its history, while others argue that it is more of a burden.
“It would be nice if they had a bridge that went over the water and wouldn’t have to open and close all the time,” said Jerry Loiselle, a Surfside resident. “But, it’s been here forever so might as well stay here forever.”