August 22
Secretary of Transportation H.B. “Buck” Limehouse Issues Emergency Order for Repairs of Bridge over I-26 in Laurens County

South Carolina Secretary of Transportation H.B. “Buck” Limehouse, Jr., issued an emergency order Wednesday, Aug. 22, to seek immediate repairs of a Laurens County bridge damaged by a tractor-trailer.

 The order signed by Limehouse will allow engineers from the South Carolina Department of Transportation to seek immediate bids from contractors to repair the SC 56 bridge over I-26.

The bridge received severe damage to two of its beams when struck by the tractor trailer Monday between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. SCDOT bridge engineers inspected the bridge after the incident and load restricted the bridge to 3 tons.

The 3-ton load restriction primarily means cars, SUVs and standard pickups can use the bridge. The 3-ton limit is the most restrictive limit allowed by law.

SCDOT is concerned that some trucks have ignored the posted load restrictions. The State Transport Police has issued citations.

“If this problem continues, we may be forced to close the bridge to all traffic,” said State Bridge Maintenance Engineer Lee Floyd. “We would prefer to keep the bridge open until the contractor moves in.  At which time the bridge will be closed for repairs. We want to protect public safety, which is our main concern.”

Ground signs and electronic message boards are in place to notify motorists of the posting,  Floyd said.

Motorists driving vehicles heavier than 3 tons are advised to use the following detours:

If you are traveling south on SC 56 from Spartanburg, you will be detoured onto SC 49 southbound in Cross Anchor, routed to I-26 eastbound and returned to SC 56 at exit # 52.

If you are traveling north on SC 56 from Clinton, you will be detoured onto SC 56/72 Truck Route, then on SC 72 eastbound to I-26 and then westbound on I-26 and returned to SC 56 at exit # 52.


Photos of bridge area: