HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — The South Carolina Department of Transportation said Tuesday that one of Horry County’s busiest highway bridges continues to be safe to drive across despite a large vertical crack that has appeared in one of the concrete beams that supports the bridge.

News13 photos clearly show the crack in the beam under the Highway 501 Bypass bridge over Highway 701 in Conway.

The bridge was most recently inspected in August 2022, according to Kelly Moore, director of public engagement and senior advisor to the South Carolina Secretary of Transportation. Inspections take place at least every two years.

“We want to reassure drivers that the bridge is safe and structurally sound,” Moore said. “The bridge is not load restricted at this time. There are steel elements supporting the structure inside the concrete, and those steel beams and reinforcing structures are safe and functioning properly.”

According to the website Bridgereports.com, the bridge was built in 1958 and then reconstructed in 1976. Inspections dating back to at least March 1990 have marked the condition of the bridge “fair.”

Moore said anyone with questions or concerns about any of the state’s bridges or roads can call the agency’s customer service center at 855-467-2368.