Part of Interstate 77 near Columbia to close this weekend

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Part of Interstate 77 around Columbia is closing this weekend so crews can demolish a bridge over the highway.

The crews are removing the old bridge that carries vehicles from northbound state Highway 277 on to I-77 northeast of downtown Columbia from Friday night until Sunday night, the south Carolina Department of Transportation said.

I-77 will be closed from Exit 17 to Exit 18 starting at 11 p.m. Friday. Crews plan to finish the work by 8 p.m. Sunday, the DOT said in a statement.

Crews won’t use explosives to remove the bridge and will monitor noise levels to try not to disturb surrounding neighborhoods, officials said.

DOT estimates an average of 64,000 vehicles a day travel that stretch of I-77, although traffic counts are typically lower on the weekend.

Contractors have finished building a new bridge to replace the old structurally deficient one.

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