Removal, repair or replace

Unless something changes, the recommendation to be forwarded to the State Department of Transportation Commission will call for the removal of a timber bridge near Westminster, 96.3/WGOG NEWS learned today. Three weeks have passed since the fate of the North Seed Farm Road bridge was the subject of a DOT public information meeting in Westminster. Some members of the public expressed concern that the loss of that bridge will create an alternate route of three and a quarter miles. At that meeting, District One Representative Bill Whitmire pledged to constituents that he would push for repairing the bridge. But a DOT official tells us that he has yet to see or receive any correspondence to that effect. The official, Rob Perry, said, “It is still the recommendation of SCDOT staff to remove this bridge from service due to the low traffic volumes, short detour, and the estimated impacts and cost to replace this bridge.” Bridge repairs are estimated at $350 thousand, while the cost of replacing it has been placed at $3.5 million. Perry says the final verdict on the fate of the N. Seed Farm Road bridge rests with the state commission and he doesn’t expect a decision until January or February.