NEWBERRY — The S.C. Department of Transportation received community feedback during a public meeting Tuesday concerning the proposed replacement of the bridge on College Street over North Branch Scotts Creek.
The meeting was to provide the community with an opportunity to review the plans for the replacement and to discuss their concerns and opinions on the project with SCDOT representatives.
SCDOT Program Manager Kati Price gave a presentation on the project’s purpose, need, schedule and potential impact on the natural and human environments in the immediate area of the bridge’s location.
The project scope includes the construction of a 30 foot long by 60 foot wide reinforced concrete flat slab bridge spanning North Branch Scotts Creek. The current bridge was built in 1930.
The proposed bridge will have two 11 foot travel lanes, one 11 foot median, and two five foot sidewalks. Price explained that the finished elevation will be two to three inches higher than the existing bridge due to site conditions.
SCDOT assured community members they would continue efforts to maintain access to properties next to the bridge while detouring traffic around the area during construction. The bridge closure is expected to last about six months.
Price said detour routes will be posted for out-of-town traffic while local drivers will probably know their way around better than a detour can direct them. The proposed detour is for traffic to stay on Main Street, go toward Nance Street, turn on Kendall Street and head back toward College Street.
Jason Boice, an employee at Newberry College, voiced concerns that visitors or out-of-town students at the college might have problems finding their way around town with the detour. In response to his comments, Price said the SCDOT would look into ways to direct people from Main Street back to College Street with signage.
Another concern was from Bethlehem Baptist Church which was concerned the guardrail from the new bridge would block the front entrance of their church. A proposed suggestion by SCDOT was that a new driveway to the front entrance of the church would be made.
“It’s a relatively straight forward project,” Price said. “We are hoping for minimal public inconvenience.”
Comment forms can be mailed no later than Oct. 10 to Kati Price, Program Manager/SCDOT, P.O. Box 191, Room 418, Columbia, SC 29202-0192.
Price can be reached by fax at 803-737-1510 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. All comments received will be included in an official public information meeting file that will be available for review along with the displays in the SCDOT Midlands Regional Office, 955 Park St. in Columbia.
SCDOT plans to begin acquiring the rights of way in November 2013 and to go to construction late in 2014.
Elyssa Parnell can be reached at 803-276-0625, ext. 108 or at email@example.com.