Neighbors contact Channel 9 about delayed repairs to closed bridge

by: Greg Suskin Updated:


YORK COUNTY, S.C. - Channel 9 began asking questions after neighbors in York County called and were concerned that a bridge on Burris Roadnear their home was still shut down.
"It's disturbing that it's taken this long," said Caroline Burke who lives on North Burris road near Sharon.
A two-lane bridge there was closed in July 2013 after storm debris damaged it.  Large logs were carried down the swelling creek during several storms and they battered the wooden bridge supports.
Neighbor Chris Dewey thought it would collapse.
"I'm surprised it stood after some of those logs hit it. I mean they were huge." Dewey said.
At the time, the South Carolina Department of Transportation expected that the bridge would be repaired and reopened in a month. 
Roughly 500 cars a day cross the rural bridge, which also served as a cut through for truck traffic.
Though Burke doesn't miss the 18-wheelers, she is concerned about what happens when school starts again.
"It takes my daughter more than an hour to get home on the school bus because the route had to be changed," she said.
On Friday, DOT engineer Perry Crocker said the bridge needs more work, beyond the simple repair they first expected.  
In fact, they now plan to install a new, longer bridge instead. That change in the project caused the delay.
Crocker said it was decided to leave the bridge closed rather than reopen it for a short time. That way it can remain higher up on the state's priority list for bridge replacement.
DOT officials in Columbia said that the contract for that new bridge was just sent out for bids last week.
Once a contractor gets the job, work there could start in a few months. 
It's estimated to cost a minimum of $700,000 to replace the bridge.
There was no timetable given for when it might be finished.