DOT IN CRISIS: Dam failures, bridge damage from 2015 floods keeping South Carolina roads closed

Twenty-nine roads in the state are still closed from flooding that took place last October

September 26, 2016
road flooded sign
road flooded sign

Nearly a year after unprecedented flooding struck South Carolina last October, the state still has 22 roads closed because dams failed in their areas and another seven closed because bridges on them need to be replaced.

That was the assessment in the Sept. 15 monthly recovery report from the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT), which noted that at the worst of the flooding, 541 roads were closed.

The floods resulted from heavy rains that began Oct. 2, producing high and swift-flowing streams and rivers that killed some residents and left heavy infrastructure damage. The agency eventually estimated the cost of road and bridge infrastructure repairs at $137 million.

SCDOT crews and contractors have been steadily working to rebuild facilities and reopen roads. In fact, the latest update includes a photo of Congaree Road (SC 769) that reopened Sept. 1 in Richland County.

It also said one road still closed due to the dam's condition would reopen around Sept. 30, while two more bridge replacements should be completed by the end of October and another by mid-November.

However, most of the roads closed due to dam failures await further developments, with their projected reopening dates listed as "TBD” (to be determined). And one bridge replacement project that is in a design phase is expected to take into the fall of 2017 or the following winter before its road can reopen to traffic.