Barefoot Resort residents deal with bridge closing

Residents of one North Myrtle Beach community are feeling a little landlocked these days.

There are only two ways in and out of Barefoot Resort and for the next month and a half, one of them will be closed for repainting a swing bridge.

Many people who live there aren't very happy about it, but there's not much they can do.

Lunda Cornelius lives just a few blocks from Water Tower Road, which for the time being is the only usable entrance to Barefoot, so the closing of the more-distant swing bridge won't have a huge impact on her.

That doesn't mean she's happy about it. "I don't like it, but there's just no alternative, if they're going to restore it and keep it a working bridge, without having to build some gigantic span there," said Cornelius.

She said it helps that the city will run extra police patrols in Barefoot, and place an Horry County paramedic at the fire station within the community, until the bridge is open.

The president of the Barefoot Residential Homeowners Association said no doubt, the bridge closing is an inconvenience. He said it will take Barefoot residents longer to get to the nearest pharmacy or supermarket, but he added, no one can argue with the fact that the bridge needed work.

"The rust areas and the paint peeling off, it's pretty obvious to anybody that was driving across that bridge," said Dave Jenkins.

The manager of the Barefoot Golf and Country Club said business is slow this time of year anyway, so the bridge closing shouldn't hurt them too much.

"We've been fortunate enough that no one has cancelled because they found out that the bridge was closed during the time they were scheduled to play here," said Dave Genevro.

If there's a winner in all this, it may be the Barefoot Resort Bar and Grill, which hopes to pick up business from residents who may not be able to get a pizza delivered from the other side of the bridge.

"I've already noticed we've made some new deliveries already, people probably trying out the food and seeing what it is before this bridge closes," said the restaurant's manager, Justin Losi.

The contractor doing the bridge work can earn a little extra money for getting it done early and will face penalties if it's not done on time, so Barefoot residents hope the bridge will be finished sooner rather than later.

The $907,000 bridge project is scheduled to finished no later than January 16th.