SCDOT closes bridge on Highway 52 after train derails and portion collapses
By News 2 Staff
Moncks Corner, SC -
SCDOT has closed the Cypress Gardens Road Bridge near Highway 52 in Moncks Corner after a portion collapsed and a train derailed Monday night.
According to officials say just before 7 p.m. Monday evening, five train cars derailed near Cypress Gardens Road. When police arrived on scene, investigators also found that a 12 foot section of the bridge collapsed.
According to Bill Salisbury, Chief of the Berkeley County Rescue Squad, about a 15-to-20 foot section of the bridge on Cypress Gardens Road collapsed on top of the train.
CSX, the train company, says the train had two locomotives and 72 rail cars. Five of those train cars derailed, and all five of those rail cars were empty.
Officials say there is hazardous material on the train, but that material was in a different part of the train and did not spill. Officials said they have removed that material.
No injuries have been reported.
Salisbury says a pickup truck was traveling on Cypress Gardens Road heading towards Highway 52 was unable to stop, so he accelerated and actually jumped over the gap on the roadway, landing on the other side and running off into a ditch. Salisbury says the jump was something out of "the Dukes of Hazard," and that the man told him that it happened so fast, he didn't have time to think. There was some damage to his truck, but the man was not injured.
No injuries on the train or the gentleman in the truck was not injured.
Close to 50 neighbors along the road are without water as of early Tuesday morning. The American Red Cross is supplying water bottles to residents until a fix is made.
The reason the bridge collapsed is under investigation. It will be investigated by the railroad and the highway dept. News 2 is told that it will take days to clean up the accident and repair the bridge.
Traffic will be rerouted through Goose Creek, along Red Bank Road. Troopers with the South Carolina Highway Patrol said this path is about 20 miles out of the way. The South Carolina Department of Transportation released the statement below Tuesday:
SCDOT has closed the Cypress Gardens Road Bridge near Highway 52 in Moncks Corner following an evening train derailment and collapse of the bridge crossing over the CSX Railroad tracks on Monday, April 28, 2014. In addition, a water line on the bridge was broken, disrupting service in that area. As of Tuesday morning, April 29, 2014, the following actions have been taken:
SCDOT Acting Secretary Christy Hall declared an emergency situation. This declaration allowed emergency procurement procedures to begin immediately.
The derailed railroad cars have been removed from the tracks.
CSX Railroad crews are clearing some remaining sections of the bridge that pose a hazardous situation.
SCDOT is working with CSX Railroad and the local utility companies to expedite the restoration of road, rail and water service as soon as possible.
SCDOT has declared the bridge a total loss.
Engineers are on the site to evaluate and determine the best course of action to replace the structure.
A 22-mile detour to re-route traffic will be established until the bridge is replaced. A link to that detour is provided at the end of this release.
This bridge has an Average Daily Traffic (ADT) count of 6200 vehicles. Trucks account for 5% of that traffic. Other facts related to this structure:
The bridge was built in 1936 using steel beams, timber caps and piles.
It was reconstructed in 1975 to widen the bridge using concrete slabs.
The bridge was last inspected on 10/29/2013.
The 2013 inspection rated the structure in fair-to-satisfactory condition.
This bridge is NOT classified as Structurally Deficient or Functionally Obsolete.
Variable message boards are in place advising motorists of the road closure and the detour route is being established. The net length of the detour is approximately 22 miles.