GETTING ANSWERS: River Road follow up
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This week, we are following up on a road we covered last year, River Road.
This road is in Piedmont—mostly in Anderson County, but it also crosses over to Greenville County. You’ll find it between Highway 81 and Highway 86. It runs parallel to The Saluda River.
Last year, the state’s Department of Transportation told us they paved from Highway 153 to I-85. We noticed new pavement in the area. And bids were set to go out in December 2021 for the rest of the road.
The pothole problems start from the V-Go gas station near the bridge over 85 until Highway 86. Highway 81 to Highway 153 isn’t nearly as bad.
We covered this story back in June. Here we are, over a year later, and drivers tell us they are still waiting for the rest of the road to be paved.
We asked drivers if they’ve noticed a difference over the last year or so.
“Not on these roads here,” said Elena Boulding.
“No, the only difference is, it has gotten worse; more traffic, more cars, more damage to the road itself, the shoulders, and whatnot,” said Shawn Duchac.
The SCDOT told us they were doing a full-depth reclamation, repaving with asphalt after the reclamation process—reconstructing the roadway base throughout. The road is a part of their 2022 resurfacing project. It has been six months since bids went out. Boulding says the road isn’t improving.
“Horrendous. I had to change my tires because it had two knots from the potholes,” Boulding said.
Zachary Hong says he only drives River Road when he passes through traveling.
“I have to go this way, go that way to avoid those bumpy areas,” Hong said.
Hong drives a Tesla. And there’s a charging station at the V-Go, in Piedmont, where the potholes start.
“Boom! Boom! You can feel it. And you can... sometimes, it’s like your head is touching the ceiling,” said Hong.
Duchac says bikes can feel it too.
“I also ride a motorcycle. So, you hit a pothole on a motorcycle, it’s not very forgiving,” Duchac said, “And I’ve been there and done that.”
Duchac takes his truck now, which has four-wheel drive. He says due to how busy River Road is, the pavement has got to hold up. The SCDOT says about 5,700 vehicles can see this road daily.
“I get in early, around seven o’clock, and the traffic is overwhelming,” Duchac said.
That’s why having paved roads are important to these drivers. They asked us, what about the rest of the road?
“It’s a problem that needs some real solutions. Instead of just pushing it to each other, ‘It’s not my problem,’” said Hong.
The DOT says a solution is coming. River Road is a part of a larger project with several other roads. These things take time. It’s under contract. The anticipated completion time is July 2023, though Boulding says she isn’t holding out hope.
“I don’t see any changes there. So, I would say no, but you never know,” said Boulding.
We will follow up again Summer 2023.
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