Bridge Limits Force S.C. Fire Trucks to Detour

TAYLORS, S.C. --

Weight restrictions on some bridges in the Taylors Fire District are forcing fire trucks to take the long way to some calls, which concerns some residents and firefighters.

Taylors Fire Department Assistant Chief Bobby Van Pelt said that since 2007, the bridge on Edwards Road has had a weight limit of six tons. He said this means some of his trucks are above the limit, forcing them to take alternate routes. He said the latest problem is the bridge on Stallings Road, which prohibits loads heavier than eight tons.

Van Pelt said the detours could add an extra four or five miles to their trip, depending on the time of day.

"That makes me nervous, and things could get worse," said Clara Aho, who lives in one of the affected areas. "Time is of essence when there's an emergency."

The only way to fix the problem, Van Pelt said, is to repair the bridges. He said that is not likely going to happen because of budget cuts at the Department of Transportation.

"They are in a budge crunch just like everyone else, and I was told no time soon," Van Pelt said.

The DOT said the weight limits are necessary to prevent the older bridges from deteriorating even more under heavy loads.

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