Deteriorating bridge causes safety concerns for south Charlotte residents

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A deteriorating bridge is causing concern for the residents of a south Charlotte neighborhood.

Thousands of cars use the bridge along Sardis Lane every day as a cut through between Sardis Road and Providence Road.

Channel 9 anchor Blaine Tolison counted a few dozen cars driving over the bridge in about five minutes on Tuesday -- and it wasn't even rush hour.

About 3,800 cars drive over the bridge daily, but the federal government has labeled it “structurally deficient.”

"I do know that it's hard to tell that from just looking at it," neighbor Jenni Hall said.

Channel 9 noticed that the bridge is supported by wooden pilings, one of which has a crack in it. Another appears to be rotting from the inside out.

"Once you know that, you're nervous to go over the bridge," Hall said.

Officials with the Charlotte Department of Transportation told Channel 9 that the bridge was inspected last year and was considered safe for vehicles traveling at the posted speed limit on Sardis Lane.

Karen Rosenheimer lives next to the bridge and the creek under it runs through her front yard.

She recorded a video in June during torrential rains, which shows water overflowing onto her driveway and the nearby bridge.

"The amount of water that's coming through here is phenomenal,” Rosenheimer said. “I don't think anybody from the city actually realizes."

Channel 9 examined city documents dating back to 2015 and found issues with the Sardis Lane bridge. In February, the City Council approved a $256,000 contract for engineering services for the project. The budget to replace it was close to $1 million, with 80 percent paid for by a federal grant and the rest by local tax dollars.

CDOT said planning and design of the new bridge is underway, but construction won't begin until 2020.

"I think it's in terrible shape. It's a safety hazard, clearly," Rosenheimer said.

She is worried the bridge can't withstand much more use.

"Yeah, it won't be here a year from now," Rosenheimer said.

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