Pickens County explains how they choose the roads they fix

Published: Aug. 16, 2022 at 11:11 PM EDT
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PICKENS, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - We received plenty of complaints about roads that need improvements in The Upstate.

And those complaints come with questions like: Why does it take so long? And where is my tax money going?

We broke down how the state does it, but we will be checking with local counties to learn their processes as well.

We start with Pickens County.

County Administrator Ken Roper says they finally have enough funding.

“Pickens county relied exclusively on a road user fee—a $20 road user fee to fund our paving of roads,” Roper said, “It netted us about $1.8 million a year, which was not enough to actually pave our roads.”

County council stepped up to create a new budget. Roper says the roads and bridges department has now paved 12 miles of road and have been approved for ten more.

“We passed an ordinance that established a new, tax millage which will raise us about $3.1 million per year,” said Roper, “And, in addition, a millage that establishes a road reserve for long-term projects of about $2.6 million a year.”

Plus, they get a few more million from the County Transportation Committee. That’s allocated monies from the state.

That’s why residents like Paul Walter Brookshire are expecting the improvements to happen more rapidly.

“I’d like to see some of the roads repaired. I mean, some of them are in pretty bad shape,” Brookshire said, “They can cause accidents. The whole Pickens County needs it.”

Roper says the process is a five-year cycle. They study the roads and rank them based on condition order by numerical value. They reevaluate every year,

“[It’s] what’s called a pavement condition index. The lower P.C.I. score means you need to get paved more quickly,” Roper said.

Connector roads also get moved up on the list.

The community can get involved through their #KickingAsphalt campaign. Crews have over 700 miles of road to get to.

“We have had dozens upon dozens of citizen inputs through FixingCountyRoads.com—showing us potholes, showing us signs that are down, showing us conditions on the road we need to remedy,“ said Roper, “And all of that goes into the mix when determining what’s our next project.”

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