SCDOT seeking comments on bridge replacements

Derik Vanderford Staff Writer

October 24, 2013

LOCKHART — The SCDOT is accepting written and emailed comments regarding the proposed bridge replacements along S.C. 9 in Union and Chester counties through Nov. 1.

During Tuesday evening’s Lockhart Town Council meeting, a major topic of conversation was last week’s public hearing about the SCDOT’s proposed S.C. 9 Bridge Replacement Project.

The SCDOT proposes to provide for the replacement of S.C. 9 bridges over the Broad River, Lockhart Canal, and two cross street overpasses at Canal Road and Lockhart Drive. Specifically, the section of S.C. 9 proposed for improvements extends from near the intersection of S.C. 49/S.C. 9, east of the Lockhart Mill Village, to a point just west of the Lockhart Mill Village where S.C. 49 and S.C. 9 diverge — a distance of approximately 0.7 mile.

According to the SCDOT, replacement of the bridges and associated roadway improvements will provide a safer and more efficient transportation facility.

The bridges over the Broad River, Broad River Canal, and Canal Road have been classified as structurally deficient and functionally obsolete by the SCDOT, and the bridge over Lockhart Drive has been classified as functionally obsolete. These classifications are due to sub-standard lane widths, lack of shoulders, and the deteriorating integrity of the bridge structures.

The bridge across the Broad River was built in 1949 and the remaining three bridges were built in 1938.

The roadway sections between the bridges consist of two twelve-foot lanes with no shoulders. The roadway through the Lockhart Mill Village is contained within a tied-back retaining wall system which was utilized to minimize impacts to adjacent homes.

Funding for the project will come from the Catawba Council of Governments Transportation Improvement Program and the 2009-2015 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP).

Mayor Ailene Ashe said Tuesday’s that a sidewalk will be built, going from the intersection of S.C. 9 and Union Road to the Broad River Mart (across the river). The sidewalk will only be on one side of the road, and ramps will be built for sidewalk access. The road will also include 10 feet of pavement on each side of the road for bicycles. Ashe also said an intersection will be constructed at River Street, which will allow for easier transportation to and from Lockhart Power.

Ashe assured those at the meeting that the construction process will hinder as little as possible.

“No traffic will be stopped,” Ashe said. “People will still be able to go across the river. When they take that underpass down at Lockhart Drive, they will build a temporary road.”

Ashe added that there will still be access to the riverbank, as well, allowing the public to continue to fish in the river.

Ashe also mentioned that there were few comments made during last week’s public hearing about the project. One resident who lives adjacent to the construction area had concerns, but she found out she will have more room than she does currently. Other than that, there were no comments.

Ashe said SCDOT’s Brian Klauk attributed the lack of comments to the hard work of Ashe and council members, as they have given out fliers and spread the word about the project throughout the county.

The SCDOT would still like feedback from Lockhart residents, however, and comments will be accepted through Nov. 1. They may be mailed to Brian Klauk, SC Department of Transportation, P.O. Box 191, Columbia, S.C. 29202-0191, or they may be emailed to klaukbd@scdot.org. Comments should include “Proposed SC-9 Bridge Replacements — Union and Chester counties” in the subject line, as well as the resident’s name, address and phone number.

In other related business, Ashe said council member Donnie Adams had begun clean-up around the rock wall seen by those entering the Town of Lockhart from Union.

Ashe also said she was appreciative of County Supervisor Tommy Sinclair’s help in sending assistance for the clean-up. She said council members want to plant flowers and shrubs at the wall once clean-up is complete.

“We want to welcome people to Lockhart with beauty,” Ashe said.