GETTING ANSWERS: Highway 247 ( Cooley Bridge Road )

Tresia Bowles is Getting Answers about the issues on Highway 247 in Anderson County.
Updated: Dec. 2, 2021 at 5:48 PM EST
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ANDERSON COUNTY, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - You request it, we get answers.

Our viewer submissions tell us Highway 247, also known as Cooley Bridge Road, has a pothole problem.

The road is about 10 miles long—going from Belton to Ware Place.

The Saluda River is a popular place to fish in the area. However, Rusty Odom says your boat might take a hit on the way there.

“Once you get down the road, a little piece right there at the bridges; there are some nasty bumps every time you hit it,” Odom said, “Even the trailer bounces. And you’ve got a $70,000 boat. You don’t want things bouncing around.”

The bridges are a stand-out area. And though Odom says it doesn’t stop him from casting a rod, he hopes for some improvements.

“We’re going to go fishing, but it would be nice to have a nice road that we don’t have to worry about,” Odom said.

David Weaver says his wife believes some areas aren’t safe for residents due to speeding and traffic.

“She’s afraid to go across the road and get the mail sometimes,” Weaver said.

The state’s Department of Transportation says, on the Anderson County side, Highway 247 can see anywhere from 2,900 to 4,700 drivers a day. That, mixed with the potholes as an obstacle, can be dangerous if you’re not careful.

“It is a concern for—not only the safety of crossing the road, but driving your vehicle up and down it on a daily basis,” said Weaver.

Cooley Bridge Road goes through Greenville County too. That side is a slightly smoother ride with more patches than potholes. To give you an idea, the SCDOT fixed 17 potholes throughout the past year on 247, in Anderson County, but only three in Greenville County.

Jordan Dijani often goes fishing on the Belton side. He runs into potholes when he fishes under the Cooley Bridge.

“I was curving up down there. And there’s one. It’s pretty deep, but it’s right on the edge. And it nicks you,” Dijani said.

And though he’s used to it since he’s lived there for his entire 19 years of life, he has heard other drivers’ complaints.

“They say it’s bad and that they think something in their car is breaking,” Dijani said, “And then, they pull over and look. And nothing is broken.”

The pavement, however, is broken; mainly near the many bridges along the roadway.

“I think paving would be the ideal situation,” Weaver said.

The SCDOT says some relief is coming. Cooley Bridge Road from Highway 178 to the Greenville County line is already scheduled to go out for bids in March 2022 for a reconstruction pavement improvement project. It’s ranked high on the primary resurfacing list in the county.

As for the Greenville County side, it will be resurfaced as a part of the 2023 Pavement Improvement Program.

Weaver says he’s not sure the state will stick to the time frame.

“They say they’re going to do it, right? Just like I’m sure there are 100 other roads that need paving also, right?,” Weaver said, “I don’t really believe it until I see it.”

Odom, on the other hand, doesn’t believe the future work is a hook, line, and sinker.

“I have hope. I’ve seen it in other areas where they have done work. So, I believe they will,” Odom said.

No word on the last time this road was paved.