Heat forces South Carolina bridge to close for several hours

Ben Sawyer bridge in South Carolina (Photo: WCSC)

SULLIVAN’S ISLAND, SC (AP) — The extreme heat that’s been scorching the Deep South prompted the closure of a swinging bridge to a South Carolina beach town for several hours.

The state Department of Transportation says the heat caused the steel in the Ben Sawyer Bridge to Sullivan’s Island to expand, preventing the bridge from fully closing after it was opened Monday.

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The DOT said on Twitter crews cooled the steel with water from a firetruck, then locked the bridge once it could close.

Transportation officials say they will keep the bridge locked until they can fix the steel, giving it more room to expand.

The closing left only one way on and off Sullivan’s Island and the Isle of Palms at the end of the Memorial Day weekend.

The high Sunday and Monday in Charleston was 100 degrees Fahrenheit.