Cypress Gardens hurt by train derailment, detour

  • Monday, June 9, 2014

Photo provided Cypress Gardens has a lot to offer visitors willing to follow the detour caused by a bridge collapse.

A 22-mile detour is making it harder to drive to Cypress Gardens – and the popular county attraction’s admissions are feeling the pain.

A train derailed and knocked down an overpass bridge on the road April 28. Estimates say the bridge can be fixed before Oct. 25. Cypress Gardens Road between Moncks Corner and Goose Creek won’t lead visitors to Cypress Gardens until its fixed.

Cypress Gardens Manager Heather Graham said that for most people learning about the detour, they make the trek anyway.

But admissions are down about 15 percent, she said.

“We have experienced a decrease in our admissions, we’ve only had a few cancellations for events and we’ve had a couple cancellations for our field trips,” Graham said.

And this is all coming during the Gardens’ busiest time of year. “A lot of people just don’t want to have to take that extra 22-mile detour.”

The decrease in admissions due to the bridge collapse was mentioned during a recent county budget workshop.

Graham said most people being affected by the bridge closure don’t know the bridge is out because they come from outside the area. To help people get to the Gardens, Google Maps now puts people along the detour route.

A Gardens’ volunteer that lives near the bridge is also handing out maps to help wayward tourists find their way around.

October is a ways off and, meanwhile, Graham said she and her staff will continue making the Gardens a destination and trying to inform the public about the detour.

“We really hope people will take that extra drive to get out here,” Graham said. “Once you get out here and see it, you won’t mind that extra drive. It’s definitely worth it.”

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