Next month drivers in Sumter will have to find an alternate route if they use the Lafayette Drive Bridge.


Sumter, SC (WLTX) - Next month drivers in Sumter will have to find an alternate route to your destination if you have to drive over the Lafayette Drive Bridge.

"When you come in a few months there will be no bridge standing and we will have to start over," said Jeffrey Wilkes with the SCDOT.

Thousands of cars everyday drive over the Lafayette Drive Bridge in downtown Sumter.

The 50 year old bridge is on the priority list to be replaced and construction will begin in August.

"We have a series of projects in the Sumter area alone, we have this bridge replacement a widening project and a multiple resurfacing contracts around town."

Wilkes says this bridge is a part of the department's master plan of fixing roads and bridges.

But as good as a new bridge sounds; it will create a traffic nightmare for some like Theresa Glass who uses the bridge for just about everything.

"I would almost say I use it every day or at least 5 days a week," said Glass.

When she heard that the bridge would be closed for more than a year, she said it would be a big inconvenience but believes it's worth it.

"We want a safe bridge to cross over so I am not upset with the decision to replace it."

Wilkes could not go into detail of the actual wear and tear that's been done to the bridge over the years.

But he says part of the lengthy construction is because of how big it is.

"This bridge is 900 feet long, so it's the length of it and the height because we do go ever the railroad."

There will be detours in all areas during construction.

Wilkes says despite the temporary inconvenience; it will help in the long run.

"If we don't maintain our bridges and roadways then we can't support our infrastructure which is what our economy drives on."

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