My last post discussed briefly the issues we endured in Charleston, SC during our ‘winter storm.’ If you recall, the ice on the Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge was an issue…one the engineers did not believe would be an issue. Statements were made that the ice would melt and not fall on cars. Damage to cars was not an issue — to the engineers.
DUH!?! I ask you, must one have an engineering degree to have just a bit of common sense???
Living in Mt. Pleasant, I drive across the Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge almost daily and I hated that it was closed for such a long time, but I did consider that ice on the cable stays might be an issue. Others disagreed with me; however, when the ice began melting and falling from the cable stays, my theory was 100% correct. http://www.live5news.com/story/24599717/ravenel-bridge-shut-down-as-ice-falls-from-diamonds
When the breaking news about the falling ice was reported, cameras on the bridge showed viewers how large and dangerous the ice was. Reportedly, drivers dodged the ice, while other drivers were not so lucky! Photographs revealing shattered windshields and damaged cars demonstrated the danger better than any reporter could.
I phoned my husband who was back at work for the first time since the crippling winter storm. I suggested that he would probably be in another traffic jam on his drive home since the authorities appeared to be scratching their heads about when the bridge would reopen. “Let us use our common sense, people…If the bridge is losing icicles, is it a good idea to reopen until certain the ice has stopped dropping?”
I do hope the engineers, SCDOT, and the authorities learned something about the bridge. Yes, it is beautiful. An amazing landmark for our beautiful city; however, when we have a rare occasion of ice and snow, those cables do freeze and it takes a bit of time for them to drop or melt from the cable stays. I doubt there is a de-ice that could be used. Those cable stays are not exactly easy to heat. Let’s not consider using a blow dryer! Mother Nature must do her job to allow the ice to melt. Perhaps next time a freak but beautiful winter storm comes our way, the authorities will remember the icing issues and keep the bridge closed UNTIL all the ice is melted. We are fortunate that a driver was not killed! Just picture it. You have a car with a sun roof. Ice crashes from the cable stays onto the sun roof. Would the driver actually survive this? I doubt it. The ice would be a missile exploding onto the sun roof, or windshield. We were blessed that God protected the city. All the engineers need is a bit of common sense while recognizing that no one can predict in what direction those icicles will drop. There are approximately 128 cable stays on the bridge. Next time, our city must be prepared. Yes, closing the bridge is an inconvenience; nevertheless, Charleston is not exactly a city known for bridges, or convenience along the roads. It took 10 hours during the last hurricane for my husband and I to drive 57 miles out of the city when we were told we must leave. Yes, I said — ten hours, to drive 57 miles! I love living in Charleston, but I do not like how this city does not plan for the future regarding traffic issues. If you move to Charleston, you must consider when we have storms, we are not as prepared as we should be.
Today, I am happy to report is a beautiful day of sunshine. No doubt the groundhog will see his shadow. Who cares! The weather in Charleston will change. Spring will soon arrive and all will be beautiful again. As for the bridges — only Mother Nature can control them or predict any dangers along the way. Happy and safe driving, Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge drivers!