Crews are working today to repair damage to the Peter Guice Bridge over the Green River on Interstate 26 in Henderson County caused when a tractor trailer overturned and caught fire on the bridge Tuesday night, spilling sulfuric acid. The repairs are expected to be completed by the weekend depending on weather, which will allow NCDOT to reopen the eastbound lanes of I-26.
Bridge inspectors have concluded the assessment of the bridge for structural damage. The repairs will involve stripping off the top layer of concrete from the bridge deck in order to remove the portion of the deck that was exposed to extreme heat from the truck fire and saturated with sulfuric acid. Core samples were taken to determine how much concrete needs to be removed. Hydro-demolition, which involves the application of intense water pressure, will be employed to remove any remaining concrete and provide a better surface for the new concrete to bond.
A special kind of high-strength concrete will then be poured and set, and the damaged guardrail will be replaced. This will conclude the repairs and allow NCDOT to reopen the eastbound lanes of I-26.
From NCDOT: The schedule for the repairs will be weather-dependent. At this time, local forecasts are calling for a high percentage chance of rain. Plans call for pouring the concrete this evening, but rain could delay the concrete pour. NCDOT is optimistic it will have the interstate open by the weekend, and will continue to keep the public updated as the repairs progress.
Motorists on I-26 East are being detoured via Exit 54 to U.S. 25 South to S.C. 11 in South Carolina, turning left on S.C. 11 North to return to I-26 East.