PIEDMONT, S.C. (WSPA)- Repairs to a bridge in the Piedmont area of Greenville County were supposed to be done in March, but nearly a year later the bridge is still closed.
Stephanie Amell with with the South Carolina Department of Transportation said the repairs to the surface of the bridge are being delayed because the original contractor couldn’t get it done on time, and now a new contractor is on board. She said the new completion date for the project is set for April 2020.
The bridge is located over train tracks on S.C. 20 near the intersection with Old Pelzer Road. Neighbors told 7News its been closed for about two years. According to Amell, the original contractor has to pay $600 in penalties every day past the original March 2019 deadline that the project is not completed. 7News’ attempts to reach the contractor Wednesday were unsuccessful.
Drivers are being detoured to Highway 86 and Old Pelzer Road. Russell Collins, who lives by the bridge, said the detour dosen’t add much time to his travels, except during rush hour.
“Maybe a minute,” Collins said. “In the afternoon, depending on the traffic, it can be up to 20 minutes.”
The assistant fire chief at Piedmont Fire Department also said the bridge closure hasn’t really affected response times except during rush hour. Neighbors who live near the bridge said they’re enjoying the quiet now that traffic isn’t traveling by their houses on the bridge for now.
“It’s been peaceful,” Collins said. “It’s quiet.”
“I like the bridge being closed,” said neighbor Tony Oliver. “I may be the only person in this area that likes it.”
At a public meeting earlier this week, the secretary of SCDOT said having a contractor default like this is extremely rare and hasn’t happened in years.
“We are doing everything that we possibly can to get the bridges open as soon as possible with all of the other issues that we’ve had to deal with,” Amell said.