First responders impacted by bridge closure in Abbeville County

First responders impacted by bridge closure.

ABBEVILLE Co., SC (WSPA) – A bridge in Abbeville County has been shut down for more than eight months with no end in sight. Erwin Mill Road is in the middle of the Broadmouth-Turkey Creek fire district.

This one road closure has doubled or tripled response times for first responders in an emergency.

Residents want to know why the S.C. Department of Transportation (DOT) is not making the project a priority and why they pay taxes without the quick services. The bridge closure doesn’t just impact the people on the other side of the call, but the ones trying to get there in a fast manner.

“When that call goes out I personally know everyone in this community and it just tears me up that it will take me at least eight minutes out of the way to get to you,” said Broadmouth-Turkey Creek Fire Chief James Elewine.
7 News took residents’ concerns to DOT and they said with the new money from the gas tax will fund fixing rural bridges like this one. But it could be anytime in the next 10 years. The DOT chief of operations said there is nothing that can be done about the response times until funding is available.