On Monday, Nov. 6 , construction and repairs were scheduled to begin on the bridge adjacent to C. Alex Harvin Landing on Route 260 in Manning. The construction has had a slow and problematic start.
The signage for the detour route wasn’t placed until Monday evening, confusing morning commuters who expected the bridge to be closed. The heavy equipment for the repairs arrived the following day, but as of Wednesday evening, the actual work does not seem to have started. This seemingly lack of activity has locals worried that the construction will not be completed by Dec. 20, as expected. While the SC Department of Transportation is sure to have a plan, at this stage, it is unclear to the people living near the bridge what that plan might be.
Residents on James Loop Road, particularly, have their own unique set of problems due to the bridge outage. James Loop Road is a one-lane dirt road that many have used as a shortcut to the designated detour route. Myra Smith took to social media to explain the issues that her neighborhood is facing. “It is hard to breath [sic]. James Loop is not meant to handle the volume of traffic that was on it today. There are at least 3 blind curves and the vehicles are going too fast. Someone is going to get hurt,” Smith wrote in a community forum.
In the years prior to the recent construction, the James Loop community attempted to have the road paved. These attempts became more urgent once the bridge repairs were announced, with many neighbors contacting local officials to voice their concerns about the inevitable increase of traffic on their one lane road. Paula Donovan, a homeowner on James Loop, describes asking to get the road
milled at the very least, to no avail. Donovan explains how she was bounced around while trying find solutions but “no one has an answer.” Finally, Donovan did have some luck with the Clarendon County Sheriff’s office. Chief Deputy Morris promptly returned her calls, assigning a deputy to observe traffic
and issuing speeding citations, by that evening.
The designated detour is Durant Lane to Shaw Road to Kenwood Road and vice versa. Unfortunately, inconsiderate motorists on those roads are causing problems for homeowners there as well. In the same forum, Robin Nelson commented, “Also, some drivers using the detour are exceeding the speed limit
coming through our neighborhood on Kenwood. There are some really sharp curves coming into the home area and I'm wondering how long before a wreck happens there.”
Stephanie Welch Amerson echoed Nelson, “[yes] I live on Shaw and they are flying past our house and more trash has been thrown out by the road in my yard than ever!”
These Clarendon County citizens understand the need for the bridge repair. They realize it’s a temporary inconvienence while a major roadway is closed. Be that as it may, they are asking, if not begging, for their fellow locals to be good, kind members of this community. Residents simply ask to take the official detour, do not speed, and do not litter. You may be cutting through James Loop after a long day at work, anxiously waiting to enjoy a cool, fall breeze off the lake. Meanwhile, Donovan and her neighbors are inside, avoiding inhaling excessive dirt and dust, and missing “the best time of year” for porch sittin’.