Decorative fence going up on bridge over I-77

BLYTHEWOOD – Walking and biking across the Blythewood Road bridge over I-77 is going to be safer in the future thanks to a new fence scheduled to be constructed on each side of the bridge.

With an eye to pedestrian safety, the SC Department of Transportation (SCDOT) decided to install a standard chain link fence, at a cost of about $10,000. 

Approached by the Town about installing something more aesthetically pleasing than chain link, SCDOT officials were amenable if council would agree to cover the additional cost over what SCDOT would pay for the chain link fence.

SCDOT has a bid to have installed approximately 552 feet of black, two-rail style ornamental pedestrian fencing at a cost of $95,132. The town’s cost will be $85,132.

“The Blythewood Bridge is an integral focal point connecting east and west Blythewood for those residents and visitors off Exit 27 from Interstate 77,” Town Administrator Brian Cook said at the Sept. 23 town council meeting. “This interchange leads to our commercial, cultural, recreational, educational, residential and tourist destinations. “

The project will include new sidewalks on each side of the bridge and a pedestrian barrier is also being considered.

Council voted 5-0 to pay its portion of the fence cost with $80,000 from the hospitality fund balance of $469,621 and $5,126 from funds remaining from what was proposed for allocation for events and tourism projects in the FY 19-20 budget.

The six-foot tall fence will be constructed on top of the concrete parapets on each side of the bridge. Construction is expected to begin in of August.