The only bridge across the Beaufort River that is open is the Woods Drawbridge on U.S. 21 Business. This connects downtown Beaufort to Ladys Island. Reports from my company's highway project on St. Helena Island reports considerable traffic congestion several miles south of the Woods bridge. With summer traffic to the coast building this time of year, today's situation may be a bad sign of things to come for this area.
It will take some time before it is known how long repairs will take, much less to perform the work. If you are planning to go to any of these islands in your daily commuting, or for vacationing, please plan ahead before attempting to cross the Beaufort River from downtown Beaufort. Try to make sure you're not adding to the already tremendous traffic problem by making an ill-timed trip.
Remember, any additional traffic congestion could make it even more difficult for emergency services to function in this area, posing threats to people and property on the Sea Islands. Out of consideration for emergency services personnel, please keep an eye out for them if you must travel in this area and be prepared to get out their way.
Beaufort County has a traffic information webpage, as well as webcams north and south of the river on U.S. 21. My company's public information website for our Sea Island Parkway (U.S. 21) widening project on St. Helena's Island will also link to the Beaufort County websites and provide what information we can.
UPDATE: Between 5.30am and 7.00am, both lanes across the Woods drawbridge will be northbound only. All traffic from downtown Beaufort to Ladys Island via U.S. 21 southbound will have to wait until this daily reversal ends at 7.00am
Special thanks to the Beaufort Gazette for the photos.