Small but Mighty Team Makes South Carolina Roadway Safer

by Balfour Beatty

December 14, 2021

A small, yet mighty crew of six Balfour Beatty teammates is replacing the US17 Alt Sampit Bridge to provide better, safer access to a flood-prone roadway passing over the Sampit River in South Carolina. 

Located 8.5 miles west of Georgetown, US17 Alt Sampit serves as an alternate route between Pocotaligo and Georgetown for approximately half a mile. Along the route sits a 140-foot-long bridge over the swampy Sampit River, which often floods the roadway making it difficult and unsafe for drivers to pass.  

Balfour Beatty is self-performing work to increase the height of the 50-year-old bridge from 15 feet to 24 feet with the intent to ultimately open the half-mile roadway and prevent flooding.

To increase operational efficiency and production on the bridge, which is located in a remote area, Balfour Beatty has strategically leveraged resources from projects in neighboring North Carolina including the Fayetteville Outer LoopHavelock Bypass, and Military Cutoff Road Extension. With a rotating schedule of only six crew members on the jobsite at a time, this small team’s ability to communicate, adapt and collaborate effectively makes them a mighty task force.

The project is divided into two phases:

Phase 1: Complete two-thirds of the new bridge while traffic remains on the existing road

Phase 2: Switch traffic onto the newly constructed portion of the bridge and construct the remaining portion of the new bridge

Throughout each phase, the team has focused on building trust with new trade partners, communicating with transfer crew members, and reiterating Zero Harm procedures—behaviors that have contributed to creating a cohesive and collaborative team culture.

“Efficiency, safety, and trust were the reoccurring themes that contributed to the successful delivery of this project,” explains Bruce Hazle, project manager. “With the team’s laser focus and strong leadership, crew members were able to seamlessly transition from one element of the project to the next.”

Construction on US17 Alt Sampit is slated for completion at the end of 2021.