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The Bridge to Nowhere
Published:
9/18/2013 11:49:49 AM


By Beverly Gadson-Birch



I frequently travel I-26 South often exiting at Rutledge Avenue. There is a cemetery at the exit and a newly constructed bridge can be seen in the rear. When the bridge was being constructed, I inquired about the builder, purpose and cost. I don’t know if I ever received an answer. One source said the bridge was a part of the Magnolia Project that was being proposed for the area and would provide and control access to high end homes and businesses. Did the Magnolia Project fall victim to tough economic times or was the land use not compatible for homes, hotels and offices? That would certainly impact the ability to obtain funding and attract investors.

What’s so strange about the bridge construction is as often as I drove by I have never seen anyone working on the bridge. Was the bridge constructed onsite or assembled offsite and installed in sections? It would be nice to know the cost and future use of the Bridge to Nowhere. It seems that the cost and intended use are hush, hush! If taxpayers’ dollars were spent on the project, information needs to be forthcoming regarding construction costs and future plans for the bridge.

After reading about a possible proposal for the land use around Baker Hospital, my thoughts immediately turned to the Bridge to Nowhere. The land use being proposed could include heavy industrial and a possible landfill. After subjecting several generations near the proposed site to pollutants that contributed to high cancer rates and premature deaths, officials are trying to subject residents to more of the same. For those persons who reside in the area, my suggestion is that you attend the meetings that are being held on this matter.

When Planners and Developers make poor land use decisions, persons impacted pay a high price. When the Crosstown Route was proposed for downtown, where was the most impact felt? It was in the Black community. When Planners needed a route for rail transportation, where did they look? It was in the Black community. So, is it fair that the burden of growth rests on the back of the black community? Of course it isn’t but if you don’t attend the meetings and voice your concerns, negative developments will be right in your front door and the impact to your family and community could be deadly over time.

Think about the impact of heavy industries and pollutants upon your children, Think about birth defects. Think about your early demise. Don’t let developers sell you a false bill of goods. Make sure you get the facts. Be sure there is an impact survey of the area in question. And for goodness sake, don’t let developers wave a few dollars in your face or promise you some trade off in exchange for your vote. Don’t sell your community out because the industrial impact will adversely impact everyone in the area.

When the Master Plan for the Magnolia Project was proposed, did they bring it to the Black community? Now that the project has fallen through, there is a lot of empty land south of Baker to the Bridge to Nowhere.

North Charleston City Council at City Hall is having a meeting on Thursday at 5:00 PM to discuss heavy industrial zoning for the properties south of Baker. You need to be there!





 

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