July 26
Railroad Bridge on Hampton Avenue in Greenville Set for Demolition

                     Century-old steel and wooden bridge has become a safety hazard

      The South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) and Norfolk Southern Railroad have announced that the Hampton Avenue Bridge over Norfolk Southern railroad in Greenville is scheduled to be removed by Norfolk Southern by August 30, 2012. This bridge which has spanned the Norfolk Southern railroad tracks since 1928 is being removed due to its deteriorated condition. In a 1998 agreement, Norfolk Southern and SCDOT agreed that SCDOT would take ownership of the bridge but included the requirement that the railroad will remove the bridge at its expense once SCDOT determined the bridge needed to be removed.
This bridge was closed to vehicular traffic in August 1994 because of its condition and is now considered a high risk for failure (collapse) and must be removed immediately.  A number of I-bars that support the bridge structure have failed which has contributed to its deteriorated condition. Although the bridge was placed in this location in 1928, it is generally understood that Norfolk Southern moved this bridge from a different location and the actual structure dates back to around 1900. This bridge must be removed because of its fracture critical condition and could fail at any time.
Despite numerous attempts by SCDOT to keep pedestrian traffic off the bridge, the local residents have utilized this bridge for pedestrian use. It is very unsafe to use and must be removed for that reason.  Alternate pedestrian access is available on the Pete Hollis Bridge over Norfolk Southern railroad which is adjacent to the Hampton Avenue bridge. This bridge introduces a 1 mile detour to pedestrian traffic. General discussion has occurred concerning the possibility of erecting a pedestrian bridge in the old bridge’s place.  For a replacement to occur, a funding source and local sponsor will need to be identified as SCDOT will look to a local government entity to assume ownership and maintenance of the structure.
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