GETTING ANSWERS: West Cherry Road

FOX Carolina's Tresia Bowles is getting answers about issues on West Cherry Road in Oconee County.
Updated: Oct. 28, 2021 at 5:38 PM EDT
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SENECA, SC (FOX Carolina) - You asked us to look into road conditions on West Cherry Road, and we have answers for you.

West Cherry goes from Seneca to Clemson through both Oconee and Pickens Counties. It also includes a bridge over Seneca River, which flows into Lake Hartwell.

Drivers say the worst stretch is shortly after bridge heading toward Clemson.

So, if you want to visit Clemson University coming from Oconee County, you have to overcome the potholes first.

Deana Baker was eager to share her frustrations.

“There are potholes in the road. And if one vehicle hits that pothole, and you’re on a bridge—coming or going—you have nowhere to go,” Baker said.

Since it’s so close to campus, many Clemson students live off this roadway. Student Aditi Salunkhe says taking on the potholes are no joke.

“I see it. And then I’m like, ‘Ok, well, I’m not going to swerve.’ And then, I go in it. And then, I hear a big bang. And I’m always scared that my tire is going to pop. And that’s my worst fear, because that happened to one of my friends on the road,” said Salunkhe.

Salunkhe takes this road to class all the time and, apparently, so does everyone else.

“The traffic flow at that stop sign; I will be waiting there for ten minutes after class just to go home,” Salunkhe said.

The road is only a little over two miles long, but more than 8,000 vehicles travel it every day, according to the state’s Department of Transportation.

Lonnie Smith describes what he feels going over the potholes.

“I feel a rumble in your front wheel and your front end,” Smith said.

And his drive was enough to make a impact on him.

“My experience was just you having to swerve a little bit and miss the potholes. And what that does is, it messes your front end up a lot,” said Smith.

Baker says the potholes don’t always stay in place.

“I’ve had a piece of pavement pop up before. And the noise—it’s just bumpy,” Baker said.

The SCDOT says they’ve repaired 18 potholes in the past year, but no word on when West Cherry Road was last paved.

“What they need to do is just get the taxes right. We pay taxes for the roads, but they just don’t fix it,” Smith said.

The DOT says there is an intersection improvement project where West Cherry meets with J.P. Stevens Road, in Seneca. That goes out for bids in May 2023. They’re planning to resurface that section as a part of the 2023-2024 Pavement Improvement Program. However, we didn’t receive any information about the bridge specifically.

Baker agrees that that intersection needs some work, but she has a list of concerns she wants the SCDOT to address.

“Potholes is number one, resurfacing of the road, the shoulders, and then, doing the actual surveys or the studies for the amount of traffic and the types of stops and goes that we have,” said Baker.

The SCDOT says 58 percent of Oconee County’s secondary roads are in poor condition. And you can call their statewide hotline if you find any pieces of cement obstructing the roadway at: 855-467-2368.