Islands Expressway bridge repair work slows traffic


The Sam Varnedoe Bridge on Islands Expressway is in the midst of repairs impact traffic flow. There are three projects underway on the bridge shrinking the four lanes on the drawbridge to two.

Repairs will be made to the bull gear and lock housings, as well as re-balancing the span.  

It’s the last mechanical drawbridge in the state, according to Chatham County’s Director of Public Works, Robert Drewry. He says the bridge opened more than 3,800 times last year. 

Drewry asks for more than patients from drivers passing through the construction zone.

“We just ask that our commuters please be careful. Obey the speed limits,” he said. “It gets down to 30 miles over the bridge, 30 miles per hour, so please obey that because there are workers out here and they have families to go home to.”

He added that the lane closures are temporary and traffic should reopen soon.

Construction is scheduled to be completed by Friday, August 17, but if work concludes sooner, the bridge will open at that time. 

Work on that bridge is separate from the work that is going on to replace it. The new bridges are scheduled for completion in the fall of 2021.

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