PCL, Inc., a North Carolina based company, was awarded a contract for the design-build project to replace three bridges over the great Pee Dee River in South Carolina, which started in May 2016 and spans approximately two-and-one-half miles, including a total of three bodies of water in both Horry and Georgetown counties. Notable challenges SCDOT faced with the bridge construction were related to preserving the surrounding environment. DOT also worked with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to assess needs for the Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge, located adjacent to U.S. 701. The National Environmental Policy Act, or NEPA, first enacted by President Nixon in 1970 ensured that the project’s environmental impact was taken into consideration and that information about the impact was available to the public, according to information from SCDOT.
It was noted that Prime Marine Services took safety measures to prevent and minimize disturbances to adjoining wetlands and floodplains located in the limits of the project and also took the initiative to prevent debris from hampering the wetland areas. In addition, caution was also taken not to interfere with archaeological sites located on the Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge, primarily in the Yauhannah Lake area. Prime Marine Services equipment was chosen as the best solution to improve water flow and wildlife passage as well as protection for wildlife habitats and avoid any type of ecological impediment to this great nationally preserved land.