Warning: Illegal string offset 'ssb_og_tags' in /home/scpictur/public_html/wp-content/plugins/simple-social-buttons/simple-social-buttons.php on line 1466
Our Photographers Contact Us
Our Patrons Please Give Today Add Images Add History Our Work South Carolina Picture Project

Socastee Swing Bridge — Socastee, South Carolina

SC Picture Project  |  Horry County  |  Socastee Swing Bridge

Adopt A South Carolina Landmark
Socastee Swing Bridge

This swing bridge, located in the historic community of Socastee, pivots by demand at quarter-to and quarter-past the hour. Built in 1935, it crosses the Intracoastal Waterway and helps connect the county seat of Conway with nearby Myrtle Beach.

Socastee Bridge

Gregg Turbeville of Myrtle Beach, 2013 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Completed in 1936, Horry County’s section of the Intracoastal Waterway holds special importance. After more than a century, it formed the final leg in this 2,700-mile route, which runs along the Eastern Seaboard from Maine to Florida and provides safe, non-oceanic navigation for boats and ships.

Socastee Bridge Open for Boat

Gregg Turbeville of Myrtle Beach, 2013 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

The Intracoastal Waterway got its official start with the General Survey Act of 1824, though George Washington himself is said to have dreamed of such a route. Interestingly, the leg that runs from Little River to Socastee Creek also holds the distinction of being the “longest man-made ditch in the entire length of the Intracoastal Waterway” (Horry County Historical Society).

Socastee Swing Bridge

John Flecknoe of Nichols, 2018 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

The Socastee Swing Bridge is listed in the National Register as part of the Socastee Historic District:

The Socastee Historic District, comprised of a metal swing bridge that crosses the Intracoastal Waterway, two houses, one store, and a pecan grove, represents the early twentieth century creation of the community of Socastee. It has local significance as an intact example of the development of communities in the upper coastal region surrounding the newly emergent small commercial enterprises in the decades following the Civil War. The community came into being in the 1870s and 1880s; its current form shows to what it had evolved by 1935. This is one of the few intact examples of such communities, with a store and surrounding houses, in Lowcountry South Carolina that has not had significant intrusions or alterations. The district contains particularly good examples of three types of vernacular architecture which were prevalent in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in South Carolina: a modified weatherboard-clad I-House built in 1908, a massed-plan side gabled weatherboard-clad house built in 1881, and a front gable frame commercial building built in 1905. The bridge is a swing-span, Warren through-truss type bridge with rigid joints which when completed in 1935 marked the completion of the Intracoastal Waterway in South Carolina.

[The] Socastee Intracoastal Waterway Bridge (1936) [at] SC State Road 544 at the Intracoastal Waterway [is a] swing-span, Warren through-truss type bridge with rigid joints. It measures 217 feet in length, and approximately 24 feet wide. Sources differ on the contractor responsible for building the bridge. According to
a pamphlet printed for the opening of the Waterway in Socastee in 1936, the Socastee Bridge was built by the Tidewater Construction Corporation. According to a 1981 South Carolina Highway Department Survey, however, the bridge contains a plate bearing the name of Virginia Bridge & Iron Company. The bridge was
completed in 1935, and marked the completion of the Intracoastal Waterway in South Carolina. As a result, the opening celebration for the Waterway was held in Socastee in April, 1936. The bridge is in good condition and retains integrity.

Reflections on the Socastee Swing Bridge

The image below shows a view the Benjamin E. Thrillkill, Jr. fixed-span bridge as it was captured from the swing bridge. Photographer Austin Bond shares his experience: “I was blessed to watch this amazing sunset with my daughters. I was driving back from visiting my dad at Conway Hospital and stopped when I saw this sunset. It was a wonderful break from the busyness and chaos of everyday life … for a few minutes I got to spend time with those who matter so much to me and no worries from life even crossed my mind. I’m thankful that God gives us moments like these. Sometimes you have to pull off the road and make an unplanned stop to focus on what matters most.”

Socastee Bridge View

Austin Bond of Murrells Inlet, 2014 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Moveable Bridges in South Carolina

UPDATE: Since this list was created, the Wando River Swing Bridge between Charleston and Berkeley counties has been replaced by a fixed-span bridge. These are the only moveable bridges left in our state:

Socastee Bridge

Socastee Bridge

Socastee Swing Bridge Info

Address: 5835 Dick Pond Road, Socastee, SC 29575
GPS Coordinates: 33.6867,-79.0050

Socastee Swing Bridge Map

Please Share Your Thoughts!

Did you enjoy this page? Do you have any information we should add? Send us your comments below — we can't wait to hear from you!

15 Comments about Socastee Swing Bridge

pat carleson says:
January 15th, 2019 at 12:21 pm

Love this! I lived in Surfside for years and we used to cross the Socastee bridge. Last account I had they had to have replacement parts made; they are not kept in stock! I hope they never do away with this!

Michael Parkins says:
July 13th, 2018 at 9:59 am

How high is the bridge for my sailboat to pass under? Thanks.

Gregory Powers says:
January 23rd, 2017 at 11:23 am

Is the bridge manned during the day, or does it operate on auto pilot? If yes, how often are employees hired?

Captian Bart says:
October 20th, 2016 at 10:29 am

The swing bridge is still there because business and residents depend on it. Even with the overpass, there are no easy routes to many of the communities with out the swing bridge. For businesses, they would lose several of their customers if the swing bridge was taken down.

Robert says:
October 19th, 2016 at 6:21 am

With the completion of the 65 ft high bypass, why is the swing bridge still there?

Daniel Padgett says:
March 30th, 2016 at 11:01 pm

The waterways used to be the easiest way to transport commerce goods. It is written in the 1783 Paris peace Treaty that the Mississippi was to be forever free to open travel to the British as well as the United States. The waterways are considered first Right of way's and are regulated under the Coast Guard, and protected under Federal laws. The concept is that the water way existed before the bridge, therefore they cannot change priority of Right away for something that came later. For the most part most bridges have certain time restrictions as to when they can close. Usually after 10:00 pm bridges stay open.

SCIWAY says:
May 29th, 2015 at 4:10 am

We are sorry for your frustration with the bridge. Just to clear up any confusion, we are not connected with the bridge or the state in any way; we simply operate a private website that documents South Carolina landmarks. Best of luck with your commute – we have a similar situation here in Charleston and completely understand!

Levi says:
May 28th, 2015 at 8:26 pm

So this is ongoing issue with us locals who choose to use the swing bridge route to gain easy access to 70. As always you leave home at a decent time to beat traffic and still get hold up waiting on that bridge, always (15 or more min).

SCIWAY says:
May 13th, 2015 at 8:14 am

We often have to wait for a drawbridge to get to and from our SCIWAY office – we can commiserate! On the other hand, it is special part of life on the coast of South Carolina, and we never mind too much.

Ms Sullivan says:
May 13th, 2015 at 7:38 am

I understand that the waterway existed before the bridge and I would understand that to be the case for commercial boats but I sat in the line for over 20 minutes just for the bridge to switch for one boat and then literally 3 minutes later switch again for 3 more boats – this causes a lot of delays not only with work but with getting children to school!

SCIWAY says:
April 6th, 2015 at 12:23 pm

Yes, feel free to share this link on your page!

Horry County South Carolina says:
April 6th, 2015 at 2:13 pm

Very informative! Can we share it on our page? Thank you!

SCIWAY says:
October 28th, 2014 at 6:28 am

The Federal regulation follows the logic that the waterway existed before the bridge. This is true of all moveable bridges, though some moveable bridges in large cities are closed during high-traffic hours, usually during the morning and afternoon rush.

Shelley Williams says:
October 28th, 2014 at 10:17 am

Why do the boats have the right of way at the swing bridge?

Jan Mertz says:
April 16th, 2014 at 7:00 am

Are you opening today 4/16 with the wind forecast?


Join Us on Facebook
Follow Us on Instagram
See Us on Pinterest


Abbeville ACE Basin Adams Run Aiken Alcolu Allendale Anderson Awendaw Bamberg Banks Barns & Farms Barnwell Batesburg-Leesville Beaches Beaufort Beech Island Belton Bennettsville Bishopville Blackville Bluffton Branchville Bridges Bygone Landmarks Camden Carnegie Libraries Cayce Cemeteries Charleston Charleston Navy Base Cheraw Chester Chesterfield Churches Clemson Clinton Clio Colleges Columbia Conway Cordesville Courthouses Darlington Daufuskie Island Denmark Dillon Donalds Easley Edgefield Edisto Ehrhardt Elloree Eutawville Fairfax Florence Folly Beach Forests and Nature Preserves Fort Mill Fountain Inn Gaffney Garden City Beach Georgetown Glenn Springs Graniteville Great Falls Greeleyville Greenville Greenwood Greer Hamburg Hampton Hardeeville Hartsville Hemingway Hilton Head Historical Photos Historic Houses Hodges Holly Hill Honea Path Hopkins Hotels & Inns Huger Hunting Island Isle of Palms Jails James Island Jamestown Johns Island Johnsonville Johnston Kelleytown Kiawah Island Kingstree Lake City Lake Marion Lakes Lancaster Landrum Latta Laurens Lexington Libraries Lighthouses Little River Lowndesville Manning Marion Mars Bluff McClellanville McCormick Military Mills Moncks Corner Mountains Mount Carmel Mount Pleasant Mullins Murrells Inlet Myrtle Beach National Register Newberry Ninety Six North Augusta North Charleston North Myrtle Beach Orangeburg Pacolet Parks Pawleys Island Pendleton Pickens Piers Pinewood Pinopolis Plantations Pomaria Port Royal Post Offices Prosperity Ravenel Restaurants Ridgeland Ridge Spring Ridgeway Rivers Roadside Oddities Robert Mills Rock Hill Rockville Rosenwald Schools Salters Saluda Santee Savannah River Site SC Artists SC Heroes of the Alamo Schools Seneca Shrimp Boats Society Hill Spartanburg Sports Springs St. George St. Helena Island St. Matthews Stateburg Stores Sullivan's Island Summerton Summerville Sumter Sunset Synagogues Town Clocks Trains & Depots Trees Trenton Troy Turbeville Ulmer Union Wadmalaw Island Walhalla Walterboro Ware Shoals Waterfalls Water Towers Wedgefield West Columbia Westminster Winnsboro Woodruff Yemassee York