Bridge Closure

Closed since last Friday, residents say the absence of the bridge on Highway 10 in between Cuba and Kinterbish is making things inconvenient to say the least.

In fact, letter carrier Shirly Oliver says the detour has added at least an extra hour's drive to one route, all to the dismay of customers.

"Oh, a lot of them are irate! REALLY IRATE!"

The scenario is similar for school bus routes and residents at large.

"It's eight miles from my house to the town of York," says local resident Fred Adams. "Now I have to go 20 miles one way!"

"It's a shame I have to go 20 miles to get a loaf of bread," says local resident Jim Pearce.

However, officials say the closure is for a good reason. From looking at the bridge we spotted at least three beams underneath the center that are badly rusted and corroded. This is something, which officials say can be very dangerous, given the many large trucks and school buses that use the bridge daily.

Although they are glad something is being done to fix this, locals say their concern now is the long distance of the detour.

"We want a shorter detour," says concerned citizen William Delaine. "We have a detour but it costs a tank of gas to drive it."

"Frankly, the bridge is 360 feet long and to construct a detour that length we’d be able to do the repairs faster than that," says Sumter County engineer Anthony Crear.

Speaking of repairs, Crear says he plans to meet with state officials next week to ask for help in fixing the bridge. If that happens, he says the bridge could be reopened within a month. If not, he says due to the county's bidding process and so forth, it could take anywhere from six months to a year to reopen.

Monday, April 29 at 6 p.m. the public is invited to a community meeting on the issue. It will be held at the community center at Kinterbish School. County officials will be there to answer residents’ questions.