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GETTING ANSWERS: Seay Road

Published: May. 19, 2022 at 4:19 PM EDT
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SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - Out of more than 400 roads on our list, Spartanburg County residents told us we need to go to Seay Road for “Getting Answers.”

The road sits between Highway 9 and Hanging Rock Road in the Inman/Boiling Springs area.

What’s interesting about this road is the sides of it are breaking down. That’s where you’ll find the potholes, versus in the middle of the road like we’re used to.

David Blanton is a former Spartanburg County sheriff. He now teaches concealed carry weapons permit classes at his business called Top Gun, off Seay Road.

“When we first came out here, 30 years ago, there was, maybe, seven or eight homes out here,” Blanton said, “Traffic was very, very slack, but now, all the houses are being built, the schools that are close by—Seay Road has become the cut-across road.”

Sarina Webb worries that Seay Road won’t be able to sustain the traffic from the new developments.

“My main concern is just how much Boiling Springs is growing, specifically on this road and all the new neighborhoods that are coming in,” Webb said, “So, there’s a lot more traffic on this road.”

Spartanburg County says the current length of the road is 16 feet. No word on the current, daily vehicle count. They say the road is in such, bad condition due to the lack of pavement structure. This means, most likely, the last time that road was paved, two inches of asphalt were placed on dirt.

“You have to get over for, essentially, every, single car that you’re passing. So, y’all are both trying to figure out how far you have to move over,” said Webb, “And so, every time, your tires are being hit.”

The road was last paved in 1971, according to the county. Drivers say, sometimes, on Seay Road, you can’t see anything coming.

“If you meet a truck, you’ve got half your vehicle off the road. And heaven forbid you meet a school bus, because they come up and down through here about five times a day,” said Blanton, “You’re looking for a driveway to get up in so the bus can get by.”

MarlaJeanette Williams is a bus driver. She says it’s a hassle getting the kids home safely

“Especially with us letting off kids, because I have two, established stops on this road,” Williams said, “People run my stop arm all the time, but when the road happens to be super narrow, like this, it’s even more dangerous for us to make the stops for the kids.”

Williams says there is also a blind spot around the curve. Sometimes, when another car is driving too fast, you have to stop to let them pass.

“There’s just no way for two cars to come on that way—let alone a bus and another car,” said Williams.

And Williams says there’s another obstacle due to the construction of new homes along the road.

“They put a lot of dirt on the sides. And so, when we come through there or another car is coming through there fast, it sends up huge, orange clouds of dust,” Williams said.

Drivers want the road widened and paved. And that’s what Spartanburg County says is happening. They’re investing $3.5 million into Seay Road. That comes with widening the road to eight feet to 24 feet. They will till the ground and current asphalt, mix cement into the ground, and allow it to cure—adding two inches of asphalt on top of 10 inches of Cement Modified Recycle Base. They says this structure should support increased traffic this time.

“It would be great,” said Webb, “Maybe we’d have more room to even walk our dogs. We like to walk our dogs on the road as well. Sometimes it can get a little bit dangerous. So, hopefully, widening can help us do that a little bit more.”

A few of you asked about a new round-a-bout. The county is also planning to install one at the intersection of Clark Road. They recognize it a busy connector on which vehicles travel too fast. There will be round-a-bouts added to the intersections of Clark and Bishop Road as well as Clark and Sugar Ridge Road. The county predicts this will move 20 percent more traffic in a safer manner. When compared to a four-way stop, round-a-bouts can provide a 90 percent reduction in fatal crashes, according to the county. There have been seven accidents on Seay Road since 2015.

The work is set to begin mid-2023, finishing in around 270 days. We’ll be sure to check back.

Crews have considered the developments when planning this project. The new homes haven’t caused any delays in the work, but it has caused Seay Road to become a high priority.

“It’d be great. I mean, it’s better for your cars,” said Blanton, “You don’t have to worry about front end alignments anymore and cracking your rims and things. And it’d just make it a lot safer.”

Only one vehicle has filed a damage claim from driving on Seay Road to Spartanburg County since 2020.