Motor problems prompt Woods Memorial Bridge closure

emoody@beaufortgazette.comJuly 30, 2013 

A malfunction closed the Richard V. Woods Memorial Bridge in downtown Beaufort for the second time in as many days Tuesday, and the problem was not related to scheduled repairs to the swing span.

The bridge was stuck open at about 9:40 a.m., but vehicles were able to cross again just before 10:30 a.m.

According to a post on the Beaufort Police Department's Facebook page, a motor that turns the bridge to allow boat traffic to pass failed. The repair continues.

The bridge also was closed briefly early Monday afternoon, and Twitter users reported additional, shorter closures throughout the two days.

Attempts Monday and Tuesday to reach a state Department of Transportation spokesman for comment were unsuccessful.

Deputy Police Chief Dale McDorman said the police department was notified by DOT at beginning of July of bridge work, including gearbox repairs planned July 20-28. That would be followed by work through Aug. 9 to balance the bridge. However, the closure Tuesday was not a result of those scheduled repairs, McDorman said.

Drivers are advised to take the J.E. McTeer Bridge, which spans the Beaufort River on Lady's Island Drive, if the Woods bridge is closed.

The Woods Memorial Bridge was opened in the early 1970s as a replacement for an older swing bridge. It and the McTeer bridge are the only bridges connecting Lady's Island with Port Royal Island, which includes Beaufort and Port Royal.

Follow reporter Erin Moody at twitter.com/IPBG_Erin for updates.

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