Thursday November 20, 2008 Beaufort South Carolina - USCG Sector Charleston is reporting that the Richard V. Woods Memorial Bridge known to marine traffic as the Lady's Island Swing Bridge, is closed to marine traffic.
Photo: The Beaufort Gazette
During an attempted bridge openning around 1:15 PM the bridge operator noted a massive shutter on the bridge. Later it was determined that a gear box had broken which forced the swing bridge to close to motorists and unable to open for marine traffic.
The bridge reopened at about 4:30 p.m. after the SCDOT declared it safe for ground traffic.
"It's not repaired. We've got it temporarily shored up," said DOT resident maintenance engineer Curtis Brice. "It's safe for traffic."
But it's unclear when the span -- one of two connecting Lady's Island to Port Royal Island -- will reopen to boat traffic.
The extent of the damage to the gear box, which broke as the bridge operator tried to open the span to let boats pass underneath, is unknown, Brice said. The operator will not attempt to open the bridge again until the DOT consults the U.S. Coast Guard sometime today to work out a new schedule for openings.
Sullivan's Island, South Carolina - The bulker MV Philippos departed the area early this morning after completing repairs.
Kiawah Island, South Carolina - The fishing vessel Nanami is still stuck high aground on Kiawah' East Beach. With progressively lower high tides the vessel may be grounded for sometime to come. Coast Guard Sector Charleston continues to monitor the situation.