Mt. Pleasant Mayor Speaks About Wando Bridge Closure, Traffic Woes

May 17, 2018, 9:06 am EST | Share:

MOUNT PLEASANT, SC (WTAT-TV) — Westbound lanes of the Wando River Bridge have been shut down now for close to four days, causing traffic to back up around the Lowcountry.

On Wednesday, we learned it would take up to four weeks for SCDOT crews to temporarily fix the issue related to that snapped cable, setting an estimated reopening date of June 11th.

Mount Pleasant Mayor Will Haynie stopped by the FOX 24 Morning News with an update on the bridge closure and some of the improvements town officials are making to help get that traffic moving in the area.

“Speeds are up to about 20 mph – when this happened with no warning on Monday, speeds were down 6 and below,” he said. “Traffic was at a dead stand-still.”

He said on Tuesday speeds were up to about 15 mph before reaching those current speeds of about 20 mph by Thursday morning.

“That’s not just government doing things, that’s the people of Mount Pleasant, the people of the Lowcountry making adjustments and driving smart,” he explained. “Like I said from the start, we are all in this together. There is nobody that is not affected by this.”

Mayor Haynie also offered a message to those frustrated by the long commute times and agreed that this is a major inconvenience.

“First of all, no one was injured in this. It was not a catastrophe, it is a huge inconvenience. We are very cognizant that it is affecting people’s lives, their business, their work hours.”

He went on to say; “Our adaptation of this is very fluid. We didn’t just come out with one plan and say this is what we are going to do and we’re going to stick with it. We are constantly changing. Light sequences in Mount Pleasant have been changed. Your wait at certain intersections has changed – we are manning each of those and overriding the signals manually as needed.”

The Mayor also mentioned how the state’s Ports Authority and the Wando Terminal now has new gate hours. “We got a report this morning that shows between 3:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m., their new hours, over 550 trucks availed themselves for that new time. That’s 550 trucks not on the road during peak times.”

Mayor Haynie is hopeful the bridge restoration will happen much earlier than the estimated four weeks. But said, “they built in that contingency factor because we would rather say June 11th and surprise everybody with an earlier date than say an earlier date and then say you’ll have another ten days of this.”