SCDOT says Ravenel Bridge safety improvements have challenges - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

SCDOT says Ravenel Bridge safety improvements have challenges


SCDOT says there are obstacles to putting in new safety measures on the Ravenel Bridge.

Monday night, Butler Mappus pleaded with state lawmakers from this area to make it harder for people to commit suicide from the Ravenel Bridge after her son jumped from it in February.

Senator Larry Grooms said he spoke with SCDOT and they had a few different issues her requests.

Mappus asked for the barriers on the non-pedestrian side of the bridge, the southbound side, to go from 34 inches to 76 inches. She also asked for the SCDOT cameras to go from live feed only to recording because they did not know her son had jumped until his body was found two weeks later.

"It's not often that you get an opportunity to save a life, Mappus said. It's even less often that you get a chance to save many lives and this is your opportunity to save many lives. We need to make the Ravenel Bridge safer."

Grooms said SCDOT told him it would be more appropriate for local governments to have recording cameras for their investigations instead of SCDOT. He also said that the higher barriers could be an issue because of the need for cable inspections.

Also at Monday
s meeting, a program called Reading Partners asked for state funding to help elementary school students.

The program partners elementary school students with volunteers to help with literacy.

According to the executive director, 72 percent of fourth graders in the state are not reading at the level they should be.

"For 15 years the reading rate in South Carolina have remained basically unchanged and we don't have another 15 years, so we can't keep doing the same thing, Kecia Greenho, the programs executive director said. We need to fund evidence based program that have a track record of success."

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