U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx today announced the immediate availability of $1 million in federal emergency relief funds to South Carolina to replace the 78-year-old Cypress Gardens Road Bridge in Moncks Corner, S.C. that collapsed Monday when a freight train struck the bridge and derailed.
"These funds represent a down payment on our commitment to the people of South Carolina," said Secretary Foxx. "This bridge is a critical transportation route in the state, and replacing it as soon as possible will help area residents and businesses that depend on it each day."
The collision destroyed the supports that held up the bridge, resulting in the collapse of the bridge's middle span and the partial collapse of two additional spans, damaging the bridge beyond repair.
Today's funding will allow the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) to quickly begin the process of building a new bridge. In the interim, SCDOT will operate a 22-mile detour to ensure traffic keeps moving and to minimize disruption to the traveling public. The SCDOT's aggressive schedule to replace the bridge calls for the new bridge to be replaced in the next six months.
"Emergency relief funding will make it possible to fast-track the replacement bridge," said Deputy Federal Highway Administrator Gregory Nadeau. "We want to replace this critical part of South Carolina's transportation network as soon as possible to end the ordeal of commuters forced to travel an extra hour round-trip each day."
The FHWA's Emergency Relief program provides funding for highways and bridges damaged by natural disasters or catastrophic events.