Breaking News
More () »

Sumter residents are frustrated about a months-long road closure. We got answers about what's happening with the project and how long it might take.

The bridge over Turkey Creek River on East Red Bay Road has been closed since July 2022. SC DOT says the bridge will be rebuilt using modern standards.

SUMTER, S.C. — A Sumter road has been closed for almost a year now, and residents who live nearby are tired of the detour adding time to their trips. They want to know what is going on and why the road is still not open.

"I reckon everybody’s gotta wait their turn, but I mean come on," Donald Holliday says.

Holliday has lived in South Sumter his whole life. People like Holliday travel on East Red Bay Road often, but when they get to Turkey Creek River, they run into this road closure.

The bridge across the river has been closed for almost a year now, frustrating residents like Crystal Reed.

"It takes me about three minutes normally to get to my mom’s house when the bridge is open," Reed said. "Being that it’s closed now, it takes a little bit longer and I’ve been like what if there’s an emergency situation and I can’t get to her quick enough because of that bridge being closed?"

The South Carolina Department of Transportation said the bridge was closed in July 2022 after a routine bridge inspection.

"You can see the post that’s holding them up like splinters," Holliday said.

But residents like Deonna Galloway said they’re confused about why it’s still closed after 11 months.

"I don’t really know what’s going on," Galloway said. "I don’t see no progress."

A detour that residents take adds about eight minutes to residents’ trips and increases traffic through neighborhoods, according to Holliday.

"I’ve seen 18-wheelers coming through my neighborhood. I had never seen 18-wheelers come through my neighborhood before," Holliday said. "[They're] most definitely noisy but you are also concerned about the youngins. You know cuz youngins don’t know no better."

SCDOT said the bridge will be replaced with construction expected to start in early 2024 after it goes out for bid in the fall. It will be built to modern standards, which is expected to take about a year to finish.

"There’s a bunch of people in the neighborhood that would like to know that and there's a bunch of people in the neighborhood that would like to get it open back up," Holliday said. "But I can understand that there’s certain things that need to be done first. It is what it is. But it’s definitely inconvenient."

The information from SCDOT is preliminary since the project has not been awarded yet. After the department has secured the funding, News19 will be able to learn more details about the total cost and a firmer timeline.

Before You Leave, Check This Out