Traffic was shut down Wednesday evening on Interstate 526 after strong winds and rain knocked down protective netting on the only bridge linking North Charleston with Daniel Island and Mount Pleasant.
North Charleston Police said the netting trapped several cars and closed the bridge in both directions around 5:10 p.m., snarling rush hour traffic. Department of Transportation spokesman James Law said the nets had been up temporarily for crews painting the bridge.
Police said no injuries were reported.
“The netting was up there to catch overspray from the paint, as well as anything that might have been dropped or fell, so it wouldn’t hit a car or fall in the roadway,” he told South Carolina Radio Network. “Ironically, the thing that fell was the system which was supposed to keep other things from falling.”
Law said a crew is working to remove the tarp, but is hampered by active power lines which have gotten entangled with steel cables. South Carolina Electric and Gas later said it has cut power to the site.
He said SCDOT is investigating what caused the tarp to fall and whether safety procedures were followed properly. “They’ll make an assessment on what went wrong, if somebody should be penalized or what exactly needs to be done.