Many people are confused as to why, even with all of the rain we have had this year, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is not letting the lake level rise significantly while the river stays at a high flow rate.
What is happening is evidence of the influence that just a few people with money can have.
There are about eight sailboats moored at Savannah Lakes near McCormick, S.C., and while they have more than 20 miles of lake that they can sail on south of U.S. Highway 378, they cannot get under the bridge on U.S. 378 when the lake level is up.
The solution is for the taxpayers to pay to construct a new bridge that is high above the water, and the Corps to maintain low lake levels until the old bridge gets torn down – which is what has been happening for the past two years.
I believe this would make a good story for an investigative reporter: Find out which Georgia or South Carolina congressional representative has his name on the request for the new bridge, then find out his relation with these sailboat owners.
The new bridge probably will not be finished until late this year, so people should not expect decent lake levels this year.
Millions of dollars also will be spent tearing down the old bridge. Justification for tearing it down would be the cost of maintenance – although maintenance on a bridge not being driven on would be probably close to nothing during the next 200 years – just as the portion of the Fifth Street bridge that was closed about 30 years ago requires no maintenance.
Herein is an opportunity for state representatives to save millions by not allowing the old bridge to be torn down, and allow it to be used by those who don’t have a boat and would like to fish from the bridge. (I have a boat and sometimes fish under the bridge, but can fish under the new bridge.)
Save the old bridge for the benefit of thousands of people – or spend millions tearing it down for the benefit of just a few sailboat owners.
I think they should save the bridge!
North Augusta, S.C.