The postponement of the bidding for the construction of the replacement of the Manning Avenue Bridge, since it was taken over by the SCDOT, has been delayed for one year from the date proposed by the transportation study of the Sumter region (SUATS). This delay has a significant negative impact on the community immediately surrounding said bridge.
There is evidence of the structural collapse of the Manning Avenue Bridge, down to its foundation. Its location above the CSX rail system, which has freight trains carrying hazardous materials, poses a significant hazard to the thousands of low-to-moderate income residents who live in close proximity to the bridge.
Replacement of other bridges such as the Shot Pouch, Turkey Creek, US 378, and US 15 bypass bridges took precedence over the Manning Avenue Bridge.
Those who suffer the most harm and devastation are those living near the Manning Avenue Bridge, most of whom are indigent African Americans.
The replacement of the Shot Pouch, Turkey Creek, US 378 and US 15 bypass bridges is significant for commercial and intermodal transportation. This cannot be disputed. However, the Manning Avenue Bridge is just as important for commercial and intermodal transportation. This too cannot be disputed.
The location of the Manning Avenue Bridge and its deteriorating condition, however, differ from the other bridges listed above in that its existence in South Sumter places significant burdens on low to moderate income people, most of whom are African Americans who live, own and operate businesses. and worship in South Sumter.
While inspecting a recent article in The Sumter Item newspaper on March 29, 2022, I, on behalf of The Family Unit Inc., discovered that the justification for the delay in replacing the Manning Avenue Bridge which was made public by a senior bridge engineering official closely associated with this project was inaccurate and misleading. This inaccuracy was acknowledged by the aforementioned engineer and subsequently he alerted SCDOT and others related to the project to the error and undertakes to immediately submit a correction of the matter to The Sumter Item newspaper.
The Family Unit Inc. and many Sumter residents understand that building and replacing bridges encompasses a very complex and detailed series of procedures, regulations and rules put in place by local, state and federal governments and must be carried out with the utmost precision, care and precision. We are fully aware of the intensity that is involved in ensuring that bridges and all roads are safe, secure and sustainable for years and years to come.
All citizens of Sumter City and Sumter County, South Carolina, and those passing through and/or visiting this community should be reassured that their safety and well-being is of the utmost importance. This is especially important for low to moderate income residents of this community who have been denied equal and fair rights which are guaranteed by the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution granting equal protection to all under the law. .
BRENDA C. WILLIAMS, MD
The Family Unit Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization