CONWAY, SC (WMBF) – The Conway City Council was supposed to get an update Monday night on the Main Street Bridge renovation project.
However, that update didn’t happen after officials with the South Carolina Department of Transportation said they informed the city they were working to learn more about the extent of the repairs the bridge requires.
Conway City Councilman William Goldfinch said the rumor that an SCDOT representative merely didn’t show up is inaccurate.
“That is just totally inaccurate. They reached out to us last Friday," said Goldfinch.
An SCDOT representative confirmed the city was notified Friday, saying it would be premature to conduct a presentation at Monday’s meeting based on the fact they planned to meet with engineers at the bridge site Tuesday to assess the repairs and start working toward nailing down a timeline.
“In the form of a phone call and an email and a letter saying, ‘We’re in the process of figuring out what’s going on,’” said Goldfinch.
SCDOT officials said once they figure out what, exactly, the repairs are that need to be done and how long they will take, they’ll be able to provide an update, which they expect in the coming weeks.
In terms of a completion date, SCDOT officials said it’s too early to speculate, but noted it would be no later than Memorial Day. They said they’re looking at ways to possibly expedite the work.
Some business owners said they don’t mind the closure because it seems to be giving locals the opportunity to enjoy the downtown area.
“January and February have been amazing for us. A lot of our locals are enjoying the less traffic downtown. There’s places to park, it’s more convenient to walk from store to store to store, they’re spending more time here," said Emily Smith, owner of Good Day Sunshine in downtown Conway.
Business owners also said traffic is worse in other areas due to the closure.
“It is frustrating getting to the school bus in the morning. It can be a 10-minute drive and sometimes turns into a 30-minute drive," said Smith.
Last week, SCDOT officials announced the project to repair the bridge would possibly take longer than originally expected due to the discovery of more rust than first anticipated.
The repairs were expected to last until the end of March, but now SCDOT says they're working to get the bridge reopened in time for Memorial Day.
Managers of some Main Street businesses said the past month has been hard on the books due to the work.