Laurens Street Bridge misses completion deadline - WFXG FOX 54 - News Now

Laurens Street Bridge misses completion deadline

Aiken, SC (WFXG) - Time has run out on construction of the Laurens Street bridge. After given a three-month time frame to fix the damaged structure, Crowder Construction Company was not able to get it done. Neighbors living right next to the site have lost their patience and are ready to move.

"The construction right outside the window, it's very difficult to sleep," said Frank Sheppard, who lives right next to the construction site. "They start about 7 o'clock, but the trucks are moving at 6 o'clock. So, even on days when I don't have to get up early for work, it's fairly annoying."

Construction was delayed due to the weather, and crews found a problem with the bridge's original foundation. Repairs were needed after heavy rains in March caused the bridge to sink nearly a foot down. It was declared an emergency making Aiken eligible for Federal Relief Funding, under the condition it would operational in 180 days of April 10.

"The contractor has done everything possible to try to finish on the completion date," said Jeff Terry, resident construction engineer of the South Carolina Department of Transportation at Aiken County. "Obviously they were not able to open it up to traffic today, but hopefully within the next few days it'll be completed."

In order to have received 100 percent of the federal relief funding, the bridge had to have been open to traffic by today. Now the South Carolina Department of Transportation will have to pay 20 percent of construction costs.

That 20 percent will come from state funds. Construction is estimated at $2.3 million. SCDOT says a project of this magnitude has actually been moving very quickly, but not fast enough for frustrated neighbors.

 "When I first moved into the place, it was very easy to go across the bridge and get to work, and not that it's very lengthy, but you have to go back into town and through other traffic it's just a hassle," Sheppard said.

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