GAFFNEY, S.C. (WSPA) – Good news for anyone who travels over the T-Bridge in Gaffney, it’s getting repairs.
The bridge was built in 1919 and Mayor Randy Moss said it’s one of two in the entire world. The second is in Tokyo, Japan. He said repairs are needed in order to keep the bridge safe.
“We are moving the county and city into the 21st century,” said Moss.
Moss said the City of Gaffney has been trying to get the bridge repaired for several years.
“Looking at the bridge, there are a number of deficiencies. We’re beginning to worry about the safety of the bridge,” he said.
He said the South Carolina Department of Transportation has just recently accepted a construction bid for the project.
“The low bid this time was 1.6 million dollars, and that was accepted. DOT is going to make up the difference,” said Moss.
The difference will be about $100,000. Moss said the historic value of the bridge is worth preserving.
“We are the only existing T-Bridge in America,” he said.
Here’s how the historic bridge works.
“On one side of the railroad, it’s a high bridge that goes above the train so the train can go underneath. And on one side of the tracks, traffic can come in from two different directions and then it crosses the bridge and exits in one direction,” said Moss.
The mayor said the repairs will not only keep drivers safe, but they will also make the bridge a tourist attraction.
“Building the structure underneath the bridge, they’ll be putting rails, they will look at the paving on the bridge, it’ll be a complete renovation,” he said.
Moss said the bridge is used every day, so they want repairs done quickly. Especially for their first responders.
“The main thing is that my police and fireman can access the other side of the city in an emergency,” he said.
He said once construction begins, detours will be clearly marked. Moss said the bridge will take at least a year to complete and they hope to get started soon.
7NEWS reached out to SCDOT about this project.
“The Gaffney T-Bridge project is a Transportation Alternatives Program project developed by SCDOT in partnership with the City of Gaffney. The project seeks to improve the pedestrian facilities on the bridge as the current sidewalks are in disrepair and do not meet current standards. The sidewalks on the bridge will be replaced, railings will be replaced or repaired, the rails and bollards will be painted, and conduit will be installed for future lighting on the bridge.”Pete Poore, Spokesperson for South Carolina Department of Transportation