Last updated: April 14. 2014 10:06AM - 496 Views
By - eparnell@civitasmedia.com



A member of Bethlehem Baptist Church looks over proposed plans for replacing the bridge over North Branch Scotts Creek on College Street at a public information hearing held in September 2013. Kati Price, assistant program manager for the project with SCDOT, said concern about a guardrail blocking the church's entrance is no longer an issue.
A member of Bethlehem Baptist Church looks over proposed plans for replacing the bridge over North Branch Scotts Creek on College Street at a public information hearing held in September 2013. Kati Price, assistant program manager for the project with SCDOT, said concern about a guardrail blocking the church's entrance is no longer an issue.
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NEWBERRY — Public feedback from a meeting held in September has led to changes and improvements to the S.C. Department of Transportation’s plans for the College Street bridge.


The bridge is on College Street and goes over North Branch Scotts Creek.


Although most of the feedback was positive, Bethlehem Baptist Church expressed concern that the guardrail from the new bridge would block the front entrance of their church.


A suggestion by SCDOT at that time was that a new driveway to the front entrance of the church be made. Kati Price, assistant program manager, said after taking the feedback into consideration, the guardrail has been eliminated from the project.


The original design dimensions presented at the public information meeting called for the bridge to be 28 feet long and 36 feet wide. With the new design, the bridge will be 33 feet long and just over 59 feet wide.


“The new design eliminates the guardrail and allows the driveways close to the bridge to remain open,” Price said.


Price said the extra width was needed to get the bridge parapet — a low wall on the side of the bridge — out of the clear zone to protect it from vehicle impact, which is what the guardrails were originally needed for.


It could be a while before the project officially begins, according to Price, who said they must first acquire right of way for the bridge replacement.


“If everything goes as planned, we’ve planned it for fall 2014,” Price said.


That section of College Street will be closed and detours will be put in place for the three to six month construction period.


The finished elevation of the bridge will be two to three inches higher than the existing bridge due to site conditions.


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