Construction to begin on new Nursery Road bridge - - Columbia, South Carolina

Construction to begin on new Nursery Road bridge


In a Lexington County community, decades of delays and longer-than-necessary drives will be ending later this year. The county is only a few months away from starting construction on a new bridge.

It's been a road to nowhere for years: part of the roadway that used to connect Bush River Road to Nursery Road. The old Nursery Road bridge was torn out after a long series of maintenance disputes and lawsuits. That forced traffic to detour into surrounding neighborhoods and limited direct access into a large portion of the Coldstream community.

Much of that traffic then passed over the Goldstone bridge, which was built more than three decades ago. However, it was not built to handle some of the heavy vehicles entering and leaving the area.

After studies showed Goldstone starting to deteriorate, that bridge was limited to lighter loads and Lexington County finally settled on a plan to build a new Nursery Road bridge.

Councilman Brad Matthews says benefits include better response times for emergency vehicles including fire trucks. They're too heavy to drive across the aging wood supports under the Goldstone bridge.

"Now with the new Nursery Road bridge we're talking about cutting out 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 minutes of response time from your fire, your EMS, your sheriff's deputies, which could in the worst cases be life and death and those three minutes could be huge," said Matthews.

For all the concern about things like fire department or school bus access. Matthews says some in the community were hesitant about spanning the gap on Nursery Road.

"At first, people were very, very skeptical about getting this in because they were concerned about through traffic," said Matthews. "You know will there be increased traffic going to Saluda Shoals Park, you know from this area? And based on the traffic studies that the county has conducted, we see that the through traffic that swings in and out of Coldstream now where here it should be more of a direct shot and won't impact traffic too much."

Work to install the new bridge is now set to begin around Sept. 1 with completion possibly by the end of the year.

The next and final phase before construction work can finally begin is the bidding on that construction work and that's scheduled to start July 1.

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