Motorists have a little more time to brave the narrow, sometimes nerve-racking, swing bridge connecting St. Helena Island to Harbor Island.
The Harbor River Bridge, one of the state’s few remaining swing bridges, is scheduled for replacement. Bids for the design and construction of a new bridge aren’t expected to begin for another year, in August 2017, according to an S.C. Department of Transportation timeline.
The existing bridge was built in 1939 and spans 2,800 feet. A $56 million fixed-span bridge is planned as the replacement, paid for by the Federal Highway Administration Bridge Replacement and Rehabilitation program.
The S.C. Department of Transportation took bids for the engineering of the bridge in 2014 and last year began an environmental study. The Harbor River Bridge, nearing 80 years old, is structurally deficient, the agency said in a news release at the time.
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Plans for the new bridge include shoulders and sidewalks.
A timeline presented by SCDOT last fall had design and construction of the bridge beginning in 2017 and the bridge completed by 2020.