United Contractors, LLC was the successful bidder on a $32.8 Million project which involves replacing three swamp bridges and the old existing bridge over the Congaree River on U.S. Hwy 601 between Calhoun and Richland counties. This project, in recent years, has been highly publicized mainly due to its location adjacent to property owned by the Congaree National Park. Park and wildlife advocates were concerned that construction would not be beneficial to area wildlife.
In the Fall of 2009 the SCDOT and the National Park Service came to an agreement on replacing the bridges and providing parking facilities along the US 601 corridor for observation area near the Park.
The existing bridge over the Congaree River was built over 60 year s ago and is so deficient that debris is falling off of it. The bridge will have to remain in service; otherwise an approximate 70 mile detour would be required for the surrounding community and commercial interests. SCE&G Power Plant, Wateree Station and International Paper are located in the area as well as many farming operations.
The project is expected to being later this year.