The ghost of the Mark Clark Expressway

the wando bridge in charleston, sc

Photo by @pluffmud34

Table of Contents

Does a 14th-century nun know the fate of the Wando Bridge?

Last Monday, Mount Pleasant police abruptly ordered an emergency closure of the Wando Bridge (a.k.a. the James B. Edwards Bridge) on Interstate 526 after inspectors found one of its eight support cables had snapped.

A troubling discovery– but should it have been expected?

construction on the wando bridge

Lane closures along the Wando Bridge // Photo by @stefaniesincharleston

A closer look at the history of the 30-year-old bridge reveals decades of ominous red flags– from allegations of shoddy workmanship + violent coverups at the time of its construction to, more recently, the collapse of a pedestrian bridge in Miami earlier this year – a bridge designed by the same firm behind the Wando.

According to the predictions made by one late psychic more than a decade agothese aren’t mere mishaps– but messages sent from the beyond by the ghost of a former bridge inspector who mysteriously disappeared while the bridge was still being built.

Furthermore, until the mystery of the missing inspector is solved + those allegedly responsible punished, it is foreboded that problems will continue to plague not just the Wando Bridge, but all of I-526.

“He told me about dirty deeds going on on that bridge.”

On November 21, 1988, state highway inspector Ralph Terry Griggs left for work. He hasn’t been seen or heard from since.

Griggs’ wife, Lori, was convinced foul play was involved in his disappearance. Specifically, she believed that her husband found evidence of inferior workmanship on the bridge that he believed would cause ongoing issues– and that someone killed him to keep him from going public with the costly construction problems.

Griggs hired private detective Howard G. Comen to look into the case. Despite being a self-described skeptic when it came to the supernatural, he eventually turned to psychic Elizabeth Baron to assist in his search for answers.

Baron, a James Island resident, was well-known locally for her work as a spiritual counselor. She worked with local + national police on multiple occasions, and appeared on several TV shows. Baron said her she was able to convey messages from the beyond with the help of St Catherine of Siena– a 14th-century nun.

St. Catherine of Siena

St. Catherine of Siena // Image provided by Getty Images

“Check the joints.”

It was after she began assisting with the private investigation that Baron says she was visited by the ghost of Terry Griggs.

In her book, ‘Unfinished Business: True Accounts in a Medium’s Life As an Exorcist,’ which was originally published in 2000, Baron described a series of encounters with the spirit of Griggs. She says he maintained that he was killed as part of a cover-up of issues he found on the Wando Bridge– and repeatedly asked her to have investigators check the bridge’s joints.

Baron said she believed that “discrepancies on the expressway will continue to appear until the murderers of this man have been punished,’ + that Griggs would continue to continue to visit her until ‘something was done about his death’. Whether he would’ve warned her about the impending shutdown will never be known, as she passed away in 2014.

We do know for certain, however, that ‘discrepancies on the expressway’ have indeed continued to plague the bridge since its creation:

  • 1989: There are claims that miscalculations were made while designing the Mark Clark Expressway, prompting a state investigation– but no structural deficiencies were found
  • 1995: Just four years after the bridge’s completion, aluminum joints (remember the warning?) along the span of the bridge break, requiring replacement
  • 2016: One of the bridge’s main cables snaps, prompting SCDOT to limit traffic over the platform + increase the frequency of its inspections
  • 2018: A pedestrian bridge at Florida International University collapses in Miami. The bridge was designed by FIGG Bridge Group– the same firm that designed the Wando. The collapse in F.L. remains under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board.
  • 2018: Inspectors find another main support cable on the Wando Bridge is broken. The fate of the bridge remains T.B.D. as officials work to get to the bottom of what caused the cable to snap.

So, what do you think? Are the psychic foretellings nothing more than a slightly spooky coincidence, or are there supernatural factors at play?

Without Ralph Terry Griggs, Elizabeth Baron or St. Catherine of Siena here to weigh in, I guess we may never know for sure.

Jen + Justine