GETTING ANSWERS: Highway 86 (Bessie Road)

Published: Sep. 22, 2022 at 8:16 PM EDT
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PIEDMONT, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - Highway 85 defeated Augusta Road to become our most requested “Getting Answers,” road to date.

Also known as Bessie Road, Highway 86 runs 12 miles through Anderson and Greenville Counties. It’s between Augusta Road and Highway 8, in Piedmont.

Drivers tell us it’s an all-around, uncomfortable ride. The potholes pickup between Highway 25 and Highway 20.

Charles Wigington says it’s dangerous.

“People have got to call and complain or somebody’s got to get killed for them to do something,” Wigington said.

Linda Reynolds says it seems no one has been listening to their complaints for the last decade.

“They have actually resurfaced it once before, but it’s been a long time ago. It has been in the shape that it’s in now since about ten years ago,” Reynolds said.

With Wren High, Middle and Elementary Schools, not far off this road, having safe travels is important to Reynolds.

“I take my grandson to school. And I pick him up,” said Reynolds, “So, I’m actually traveling this road four times a day.”

If not for the kids, Geary Morrow wants this road paved for his wife.

“She’ll say, ‘Can’t you get another direction or go a different way?’ because it’s just hitting the bumps,” Morrow said.

The road serves as a connection to Easley. It can get busy. The state’s Department of Transportation says, on any given day, 6,000 to 10,000 vehicles pass through Bessie Road.

Morrow fears the new developments will only make matters worse.

“Five subdivisions being built, right now, on 86; the biggest thing, I think, we need is turning lanes, red lights,” said Morrow.

Plus, Reynolds wants crews to widen the highway.

“I would really like the road to be fixed, because it’s actually a dangerous thing in certain areas because you have to weave and bob and all this other stuff,” Reynolds said.

The section between Cyburn Road and the Greenville County line, which is basically the Saluda River, is scheduled to be let out for bids for the 2023 resurfacing package. Letting dates for the Greenville County side could be as early as November of this year.

Wigington points out a problem on the Anderson County side.

“There’s a pipe under the road. And it’s kind of sinking,” said Wigington, “So, cars are hitting it. Big trucks, late at night—when they hit it, it sounds like something’s turned over ten times.”

You can hear it right past Mountain Creek.

The SCDOT reviewed this past of the road recently and didn’t locate any sinking pavement. However, crews are planning to add a new signal at the intersection of River Road. They just have to wait for some materials and the completion of a utility operation. They hope to start in the next three to six months.

The DOT patched more than 50 potholes on Highway 86 over the past year. That’s more than any “Getting Answers” road I’ve covered.

“The roadway where people are driving with their kids and families, that’s more a priority to me,” Wigington said.

Report a road here.