GETTING ANSWERS: Burnt Gin Road follow up
GAFFNEY, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - We last got you answers about Burnt Gin Road in June 2022.
We started getting requests again by December 2022.
Last year, the state’s Department of Transportation expected bids to go out in April 2022, with work starting as early as May 2022. Here it is, July, and drivers tell us nothing has changed.
So, we’re following back up with drivers and the SCDOT on the progress.
Bethany Kirby says she doesn’t live far from Burnt Gin.
“We travel this road two, three, four times a day—going to school, going to work, back to home. It’s not fun when you hit potholes every day,” Kirby said.
Smith describes what the drive feels like.
“It’s just like driving on a gravel, dirt road all the way down,” Smith said.
When we asked drivers what changed in a year, most say not much.
“They’ve put flags up,” said Kirby, “They’ve done gravel, here and there, patching holes, but the holes are back—bigger than they were when they started.”
Tonya Hope agrees.
“No other changes. There are little markers, little flags. And we’re hopeful, but it’s not something that we see happening any time soon,” Hope said.
And Smith says the road has declined.
“The road has gotten worse,” said Smith, “And I haven’t seen any repairs.”
Smith says if his son could complain to the SCDOT too, he would.
“Me and my little boy go down the road. He tells me, all the time, ‘Daddy, quit hitting the holes,’” Smith said.
The DOT says the contract was awarded in March 2022. However, the contractor, King Asphalt, Inc., is currently working on projects with completion dates in 2022. They will get to Burnt Gin Road next. Though, Hope says crews will have a hard time getting there.
“It’s very bumpy, especially when you’re carrying drinks, or you’re carrying food, or you’re going through just a normal day,” said Hope.
In the meantime, crews fixed 13 potholes. The SCDOT bases their priority on the traffic and road condition. This road only sees 275 vehicles per day. However, Hope says its condition should be enough of an argument.
“I think that they think they can satisfy us with patchwork, patch-ups, putting a band-aid on something that’s a big, gash,” Hope said, “That’s not going to help.”
The DOT shared an updated schedule. The expected completion date is June 2023. And some good news, last year, only a portion of the road was going to be improved. The Cherokee County Transportation Committee is funding the remaining portion. That means the road will be paved and widened in its entirety, all at one time.
“From stop sign to stop sign, the whole thing, widen it and fix it,” Kirby said.
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