Less Traveled 2012

Ernie Wiggins

SOUTH CAROLINA INSIDER

 

Socastee drawbridge still swings into action

Posted 7/10/2011 1:25:00 PM

At a quarter-before and a quarter-past the hour, the Socastee Swing Bridge “swivels” into action to allow watercraft on the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway to pass.

As traffic along S.C. 544 (Dick Pond Road) waits behind lowered crossing arms, the beautiful sky blue structure pivots on its base, turning perpendicular to the roadway.

Masted vessels and barges sail or chug through. The bridge, which is 217 feet long and 24 feet wide, was built in 1935 and opened in 1936 to connect Conway with the developing beach resort community of Myrtle Beach.

Attempts to close the bridge after nearby Thrailkill Bridge was opened riled area residents to such an extent that the plan was scrapped.

In 2003, the bridge was renovated and the operator’s station moved to the top of the bridge.

About 17,000 vehicles cross the bridge every day, while 40 boats pass through the opening.