Four-Ton ’Chunk’ of Wood, Steel Rips Loose From Crane Atop Cooper Bridge

Mon January 19, 2004 - National Edition

CHARLESTON, SC (AP) A safety net caught a 4-ton (3.6 t) chunk of wood and steel that fell 200 ft. from a crane Jan. 16, saving the lives of several workers on the new Cooper River Bridge.

The construction form broke free from ropes and cables holding it to a crane on top of one of the bridge’s two diamond-shaped towers.

The form broke into pieces after hitting a temporary metal crossbeam before falling into the safety net. The piece of material was to be part of the wall of the towers.

No one was injured, according to the state Department of Transportation and contractor Palmetto Bridge Constructors. The project will not be delayed by the accident.

The $632 million, eight-lane bridge is expected to be completed by the summer of 2005.