Long bridge replacement list means high costs for temp. repairs

It’s no secret our roads and bridges are crumbling. The list for replacements across the state is ever growing.

7 News learned that because of that long list of replacements, taxpayers are footing bills for high maintenance costs.

In 2006 the Cherokee Road Bridge over Highway 29 in Williamston was slated for replacement. DOT calls it a functionally obsolete and structurally inefficient bridge. The lanes are too narrow and the height of the bridge is too low for trucks, at just 13 feet clearance.

In 2008, the DOT restructured how they prioritize bridges that need replaced. The Cherokee Road Bridge was taken off the list.

In 2013, the DOT realized the need for the Cherokee Road Bridge to be replaced and started to secure funding for the project.

The plan is to tear down and rebuild a new bridge to code. The lanes will be widened and roundabouts will be added at each end, to make it safer for those getting on and off.

The replacement project is number 262 out of 465 replacement projects across the state. Because this functionally obsolete bridge has so much more time before it can be replaced, the DOT is spending big bucks to keep it up.

Over this past year, the DOT spent $220,000 on concrete deck repairs. Inspection reports show constant patchwork on potholes wasn’t working anymore.

DOT says that work was necessary for the bridge to make it to the replacement stage.

A public information meeting for the future replacement project is slated for October 10th from 5 to 7p.m. at Palmetto Middle School. It is a drop-in format.