Westminster Bridge Debate

About 30 residents attended a meeting inWestminsterThursday night, to discuss the future of a bridge about two miles east of the City.  Officials with the South Carolina Department of Transportation and State Officials met with concerned citizens at the Westminster Depot to discuss the future of a timber bridge onNorth Seed Farm Road.  Residents are concerned removal of the bridge will require a three and one quarter mile detour.  Department of Transportation Project Engineer Rob Perry says there are 3 possible fates for the bridge:  removal, repair or replacement.  Perry says the recommendation from a fiscal standpoint is to remove the bridge.  Perry said the cost of repairing the bridge would be around $350,000 but replacing it could cost an estimated $3.5 million.  State Representative Bill Whitmire told the citizens he will push for repairing the bridge because that seemed more likely than replacing it.  State Officials took written suggestions from concerned citizens and urged other to submit written views to be used in the recommendation.  The issue is expected to be considered in January by the state transportation commission and a possible decision may come in the spring.