SC State students' push for pedestrian bridge successful - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

SC State students' push for pedestrian bridge successful

ORANGEBURG, SC (WIS) -

Some South Carolina State University students are pushing the South Carolina Department of Transportation for safety. Since an SC State senior was hit by a vehicle and paralyzed four years ago, students have been demanding construction of a pedestrian bridge near a student housing complex. Those demands are finally paying off.

The project was identified by the SCDOT  in 2011. Its purpose is to improve pedestrian safety and connectivity at the U.S. 21 Bypass over Chestnut Street by the entrance to SCSU, near University Village. It took nearly four years to get to the end of the preliminary engineering phase of the project.

Christian Code has been involved in the project since the beginning and said he just wants everyone to be safe. He believes a bridge over the street will be more beneficial than having students cross the road. Code added the majority of people don't wait for the appropriate walk sign to cross the street. Cars tend to speed on that road making it more dangerous for pedestrians.

"We're here, not only to get an education, but we're here entrusting our safety to our local officials. We're going to take the proper measures and do what we have to do cross the street safely. But we want to make sure that they do what they promised us as well,” said Code.

The project is identified in the SCDOT Statewide Transportation Improvement Program. SCDOT Program Manager Michelle Shepherd said a lot of effort went into the Preliminary Engineering phase of development, which is nearing completion. But she added the reason the project has taken so long is because of funding limitations and additional coordination efforts that were required to find sufficient funding. 

According to a project update by SCDOT, the bridge will cost just over $3 million.

Code and a group of SCSU students held a march last week so officials wouldn't forget about them.

"Four years ago, one accident is way too much. One death is way too much," Code said. "We don't want that anymore, so the sooner the better for the bridge. The bridge is getting built. They have acquired some information for us to get that bridge built. So we're very thankful."

SCDOT said the preliminary engineering phase of development is almost complete and they will begin looking at right-of-way issues in the Spring. Construction is tentatively scheduled for next summer.

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