Single arched culvert planned for Gatewood


May take up to six months to complete

By Stan Welch

The Anderson County Transportation Committee (ACTC) got some good news Monday concerning the cost of repairing and restoring access to the Gatewood subdivision in Williamston. They also received some bad news regarding how long it will take to complete the project.

Terry Bragg, an engineer with CoTransco, the consulting and program management firm recently hired by ACTC, reported that the projected cost of the project could be as much as $100,000 less than the $425,000 previously allocated by the Committee. Bragg reported that engineers from his company had inspected and reviewed the site; and had determined the best course will involve replacing the two side by side, unmatched culverts, which are currently anchored in a gradually collapsing block face wall, with a single arched culvert.

The arched culvert will stand eight feet high and span the fifty two foot road bed. Bragg told the committee that a box culvert cannot be built to span such a length; necessitating the arch, which will be equivalent in terms of load bearing capacity.

A possible complication will involve utilities which are also present in the five foot space between the five feet of vertical space between the road bed and the eight foot culvert. Bragg acknowledged the possibility but expressed confidence that the matter could be managed.

The arched culvert will have a face wall of blocks to close off the five foot difference between the height of the culvert and the size of the hole. Once complete, the new overpass will bear a load of 20 tons – or a tractor trailer, officials said.

The lane nearest the washout is not safe however engineers have stated that the one lane of traffic on the downstream side of the culvert is safe for vehicles. The roadway is being monitored weekly and after rain events according to Williamston Mayor Mack Durham.

Durham also said an 18-wheel tanker bringing leachate to the town’s waster water treatment plant (WWTP) is no longer crossing the entranceway. The tanker has been diverted to First Street where it is dumping into the town’s system via a new sewer line recently completed in the vicinity which is carrying the leachate to the WWTP.

Durham said there will still be some large trucks using the entranceway periodically to deliver chemicals to the WWTP.

While the cost of the project was good news for officials, the time it will take to have the repairs completed was not. DHEC and FEMA permitting required for the project may take up to three months to complete before repair work can begin. It is estimated it will be up to six months for the culvert to be replaced, officials said.