A large amount of dirt and small trees that have clogged drainage along S.C. 707 will be addressed starting next week, an S.C. Department of Transportation official said Tuesday.
The news is music to Councilman Bob Grabowski’s ears, as he had recently made efforts to use his county travel expense money to address the overgrown brush. His fellow county councilmen, however, resisted his request, saying if county travel money is used to clean up roads it would set a bad precedence.
“The fact that they’re going to get down there next week, that is exciting news,” Grabowski said after Tuesday night’s County Council meeting. “That is absolutely exciting and wonderful.
“[The media] played a big part in getting the word out. The biggest help in this case was the media. You let DOT know that the people of Socastee were in desperate need of getting that road taken care of.”
When asked last week, Ray George, district maintenance engineer for SCDOT, said he was unaware of an issue at the drains along S.C. 707, but that he would send crews from DOT’s Conway office to examine the issue.
“Our local office in Conway has looked at all of the outstanding roadway cleaning requests in Horry County and has determined that S.C. 707 is the top priority,” George said in an email Tuesday. “They plan on starting work next week on S.C. 707, and the work should be completed in the next two or three weeks.”
The state has received 21 requests to clean various sections of roadway in Horry County since October 2013, and four of those requests are outstanding.
“The remaining requests will be prioritized along with other outstanding work,” George said of three projects at different sections of S.C. 544, and a section of U.S. 701 near Coastal Monument. “Some outstanding work such as pothole and sign repairs typically take precedence, but all of the requests will be completed in the future.”
Though there is no specific budget for curb and gutter or barrier wall cleaning, each of the state’s county maintenance units have an operating budget to maintain state roads. Horry County’s maintenance operating budget has remained relatively flat over the past few years, while costs have increased, George has said. The maintenance operating budget in fiscal year 2010-11 was $2,819,450, and the operating budget for the current fiscal year is $2,818,495, according to George.