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SCDOT reopens I-526 westbound lanes

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The westbound lanes of Interstate 526 reopened Saturday, more than a week ahead of schedule. (Photo/S.C. Department of Transportation)The westbound lanes of Interstate 526 reopened Saturday, alleviating traffic congestion caused by the nearly three-week bridge closure.

S.C. Department of Transportation officials closed the westbound side of the James B. Edwards Bridge on May 14 when inspectors discovered a snapped cable inside the structure.

Corrosion, caused by water that seeped through the deck of the bridge, cause the cable to break, the DOT said after analyzing the bridge.

DOT crews worked nonstop to fix the westbound bridge, enabling it to reopen ahead of the anticipated June 11 reopening date, the agency said.

Workers removed the damaged concrete around the leak, repaved the area and sealed it. Crews also replaced the snapped cable and added a ninth internal cable for additional support.

The DOT plans to add an additional cable in the eastbound bridge and seal those lanes as well.

This is not the first sign of issues with the bridge; crews have been inspecting the bridge daily since issues were discovered in October 2016. The DOT said those inspections will continue to ensure the bridge is safe for drivers.                                                                                              

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