GREENVILLE, SC – About 25 supporters of the Citizens for a Better Greenville gathered at the site of the former Hampton Avenue bridge Tuesday to rally people to vote yes this November to repair roads and bridges.
The former Hampton Avenue bridge connected the Southernside community for generations by spanning the railroad tracks there, said County Councilwoman Xanthene Norris, who grew up in the community and walked along the tracks to school each day. Almost 20 years ago, the bridge was closed to vehicular traffic and then was demolished in 2012.
A pedestrian bridge could be built over the roughly 150-foot span if voters pass a November referendum that would raise a penny sales tax over the next eight years, she said.
“We are here today to let you know that this bridge has to go on,” she said.
The Citizens for a Better Greenville has spent the past few months highlighting key projects on the November referendum to educate residents on what the one-penny sales taxes will be spent on. There are 23 bridges listed on the project list, which was created by a special citizens committee last winter with input of the various cities and communities in the county, said Bob Knight, chairman of Citizens for a Better Greenville.
The Hampton Avenue bridge is second on that list, but is one that has gained a lot of attention because of Southernside residents’ long-time efforts to reunite their community. People now have to drive roughly seven minutes to get from one side of the street to the other.
State Rep. Chandra Dillard, D-Greenville, also spoke at the rally, saying there is not enough money in the state budget to address the issues in Greenville and elsewhere. A yes vote in November would allow Greenville residents to make their own decision on the future of infrastructure, she said.
“Greenville County residents deserve better. Southernside residents deserve better,” Dillard said. “And a vote yes on November 4th will correct this.”
Go to www.greenvillecounty.org and click on the November Referendum to read the entire list of projects.
About The Citizens for a Better Greenville County
The Citizens for a Better Greenville County is a local initiative to allow all Greenville residents the opportunity to decide the best way to fund infrastructure improvements county wide. Learn more at www.bettergreenvilleroads.com.