SCDOT Evaluation Reports Ravenel Bridge Steel’s Safe

Mon August 27, 2007 - Southeast Edition

An evaluation of the steel used to construct the Ravenel Bridge in Charleston County performed by engineers from the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) has determined that there are no problems with the reinforced steel.

SCDOT conducted the review in response to allegations questioning the integrity of the steel. The review was done by SCDOT engineers who were assisted by engineers from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).

Their report showed that the allegations had no basis. The report further determined that the testing equipment used in 2003 was outdated, and provided some incorrect results. The recent review showed that the steel in the bridge meets the required strength tests.

Secretary of Transportation H.B. “Buck” Limehouse Jr. said that he believed that the integrity of the steel had not been comprised during construction despite the need for a second evaluation.

“SCDOT had no reason to suspect any problems with the steel that was used, however, we take no chances whatsoever with safety,” said Limehouse. “We responded to the questions that were raised in a very serious manner, and after a rigorous evaluation, we’re satisfied that everything is okay,” he added.

The $632 million structure that spans the Cooper River and Town Creek opened in July 2005 on-budget and one year ahead of schedule.