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SCDOT emails during ice storms raise Ravenel Bridge maintenance questions

SCDOT emails during ice storms raise Ravenel Bridge maintenance questions

WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

From our News Partners at WCBD-TV:

More questions are being raised about the maintenance of the Ravenel Bridge in the wake of the ice storm that forced it to be shutdown twice.

Emails from the Department of Transportation started raising flags about how the bridge would be treated in the days leading up to the first ice storm, including a warning from the private company in charge of managing and maintaining the Ravenel Bridge.

Related: SCDOT blocked access to cameras on Ravenel

The Infrastructure Corporation of America, or ICA, touts itself as a warranty protection company.  An ICA project manager emailed the Department of Transportation in January—a day before the storm started—reminding them not to use salt on the main line of the bridge. 

During the storm, DOT officials exchanged photos of what they say is salt on the main line of the structure, but the DOT says its use did not void any warranties.

News 2’s Brad Franko contacted the ICA for clarification, but he was directed to the SCDOT with any questions.

Related: Driving the icy Ravenel Bridge

Other emails obtained by the Freedom of Information Act contained Ravenel Bridge’s maintenance and inspection manual.  The manual says yearly washing of the bridge is “strongly recommended” because of the salt water environment.

According to the DOT, the Ravenel Bridge has never been washed in the nearly nine years since it opened.  But, it does have “weekly sweepings.”

Officials say they’re considering all options on washing the bridge, but have not decided on the best way yet.

Image courtesy of WCBD-TV.

 

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