After months of delay, Graniteville bridge nearing completion

News 12 at 6 o’clock / Monday, Oct. 13, 2013

GRANITEVILLE, S.C. (WRDW) -- It's a bridge that's been out of commission for months, and Jessie Dingler has definitely noticed.

"Before May. I know before May, because I started coming over here just about every single day at the beginning of the May,” says Dingler.

Normally, the bridge on Leitner Street in Graniteville serves as a cut-through from Jefferson David Highway to I-20 for some. For Dingler, it's a road she normally travels on two times every day.

"I come over here, because I have an elderly parent who lives in the residence behind me. Also, my uncle lives here, and they both need my help, so I come to help take care of them,” she says.

The detour is only about a mile, but for Dingler, the miles are adding up.

The South Carolina Department of Transportation originally said the bridge would be reopened on July 1.

"I mean it is now the middle of October. It's been a while. It's been an easy five months, you know. That's a long time,” says Dingler.

"It's forcing a lot of big trucks to come through the middle of town. It's backing up traffic. It's a big inconvenience to a lot of us that want to go from certain parts of Graniteville out to I-20, and we're just wondering why it hasn't been finished,” adds Bob Hatcher of Graniteville.

On Monday, workers and a pile driver were on-site, but a bridge is still missing.

"Every time I drive by it, I think, you know, I could go that way and bypass downtown. Less traffic. Little easier. Save time and gas,” says Hatcher.

"Yeah, it's a small community, but we're still people,” adds Dingler.

A spokesman with SCDOT Maintenance division says workers should start placing the bridge in the next week or so. He says rainy weather, short staff, utility problems, and equipment problems were all responsible for the delay, but the delay didn't cost taxpayers. He says the bridge should hopefully be done by early November.

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