GETTING ANSWERS: Highway 221

Updated: Oct. 21, 2021 at 5:49 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CHESNEE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - We’re highlighting problems with Highway 221 in the Chesnee area.

The road is almost 130 miles long, running from the Georgia line, through South Carolina, until the North Carolina line.

Chesnee drivers say the potholes are a bad welcome to the Palmetto State.

Collum says the whole stretch, starting in Chesnee, is rough.

“From here to the North Carolina line, it is awful,” Collum said.

Bobbie Hulsey says there are more potholes than pavement.

“We don’t really have roads anymore. All we have are potholes. That’s what we drive on,” Hulsey said, “When you turn coming off 221, it’s potholes—I mean potholes. And it’s terrible.”

Collum describes his experience.

“It sounds like your car is tearing apart. The steering wheel just shivers when you go across it. And it almost jerks out of your hand,” said Collum.

Once you get into town in Chesnee, it’s smooth before you get to Highway 11. Once you cross the part that turns into Alabama Avenue or Rutherfordton Highway, it continues to get worse. Collum doesn’t understand why.

“They paved through town up to here. And then they quit. And it wasn’t that bad through town. What’s bad is from here to the North Carolina line,” said Collum.

Kathey Moore agrees the state didn’t pave the worst part.

“Well, they stopped at our road and didn’t give us anything. Well, we’re state too. We pay our taxes like everybody else,” Moore said.

The state’s Department of Transportation says they’ve paved Highway 221 from Woodruff to Spartanburg in three sections between the years 2014 to 2017. The area from Spartanburg to I-85 was also paved in 2010.

“Something needs to be done. The state needs to figure out what to do with this section of road,” said Moore.

As for what’s in the works for the Chesnee area, specifically—according to the SCDOT’s website—the closest work is happening from the Cherokee County line to the North Carolina border. That area is ranked number two to be reconstructed under their 2021-2022 program. Read more here.

Highway 221 from Water Works Road, in Woodruff, to Mary Hanna Road was apart of the 2021-2022 Pavement Improvement Program and is under contract.

221 from Mary Hanna Road to the Laurens County line will be a part of the 2022-2023 Pavement Improvement Program.

“The potholes are miserable for everybody around here. And I don’t understand why we cannot have our roads fixed. Our potholes are deeper than ones out there on regular roads,” Moore said.

Because this road is so long, the projects will have to be broken up into parts. So, there are more improvements, in other areas, in the works. For this portion, we’re talking about around 30 miles of the problem.