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Collapsed bridge a costly hurdle for Cypress Gardens, volunteers

Posted: Updated:
By Ava Wilhite
awilhite@abcnews4.com

BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCIV) — It's been two months since a bridge in Berkeley County was destroyed by a derailed train, taking with it a lot of business and money for people who live and work in the area.

Rufus Jones is one of many people who find themselves studying a map of a detour that will get him to Cypress Gardens.

“I was a little surprised because I guess it was my own mis-planning. I though the Cypress Gardens was just on this side of the bridge outage,” said Jones.

He says he must have missed the detour signs, but more signs are coming to the area as construction begins.

“It was really hard, people were quite upset. Now we're getting less and less people that do that, and once they come out, they love it,” said gardens manager Heather Graham.

She said additional detour signs are bound to help fill the nearly empty parking lot.

“It has decreased our business probably about 15 percent, but I mean we're still open for business, still running everything as usual,” said Graham.

The gardens are located less than a mile away from a closed bridge, where a train derailment took out the connecting overpass. Graham says it's meant a loss of revenue for the gardens.

She says they're past the busy spring season, but they still expect a good number of summertime visitors.

“We're trying different avenues to make sure we get out there. We have a lot of people that come from other countries and other states. So when they get to the other side of the bridge, they give us a call thankfully, and we're able to get them through it,” said Graham.

According to the South Carolina Department of Transportation, the bridge repairs are expected to be completed by the end of October. Crews were expected to arrive this week to start the rebuilding project.

Berkeley County Council member Steve Davis says the bridge being out did cause hardships for his District 8 constituents. Davis says he's thankful construction is limited to 180 days.

  • Ava Wilhite

    Email: awilhite@abcnews4.com Reporter Profile




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