County News

Anderson County was awarded the prestigious 2016 Project of the Year award for the newly constructed Airline Road Bridge at the South Carolina American Public Works Association (SCAPWA) conference held earlier this week in Greenville.

The bridge is the first of its kind in South Carolina to use a GRS-IBS foundation, a new technology which is part of the FHWA’s “Every Day Counts” initiative. GRS-IBS is short for Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil – Integrated Bridge System. The bridge foundation consists of layers of specialty fabric and small stone, with a concrete block façade which blends the roadway into the superstructure.

With no local expertise or local construction history, Anderson County pursued and supported the new technology. FHWA experts assisted the county’s bridge engineer, Thulasi Vinayagam, in developing the plans and material quality specifications. All of the bridge and roadway work was completed by Roads & Bridges crews at a cost of $418,325.00. The estimated cost using a traditional steel pile and hollow cored slab type bridge would have cost close to $1,000,000. Along with the cost savings on this type bridge, other benefits include reduced construction time, flexible design and easier maintenance.

The bridge was opened to the public on May 22, 2014. Two years after its completion, Anderson County is proud to have received this State-level award early this week.