Aiken County, South Carolina
U.S. 1 is the longest north-south road in the U.S., running from Fort Kent, Maine, to Key West, Florida, and connecting most of the major cities of the East Coast. When the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) inspected the U.S. 1 Bridge over the South Edisto River in Aiken County, it was determined that the bridge was structurally deficient and would not be able to handle a 33% increase in traffic projected by 2040. To address this situation, SCDOT engaged Michael Baker to design a replacement bridge and serve as project manager.
The project was challenging, as the South Edisto River and associated wetlands are environmentally sensitive areas, and preventing adverse impacts was a major goal of the initiative. In response, Michael Baker employed several innovations, including the use of Florida I-Beams for the new bridge. This was the first time such beams had been used in a design-bid-build initiative in South Carolina. Florida I-Beams facilitated a bridge design with fewer beams and spans, while allowing for a low-maintenance superstructure type.
The new bridge, which opened in 2022, is a 290-foot, 2-lane bridge that includes 6-foot paved shoulders for use by bicycles. The project was a success on all fronts, and the new span will accommodate the growth expected in Aiken County.
“ [Michael Baker]'s identified key individuals have been exceptional to coordinate with and have provided quality plans and requested revisions.”
– South Carolina Department of Transportation, Consultant Performance Evaluation
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