Pothole-ridden road gets attention

VIDEO: Pothole-ridden road gets attention

BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - A road riddled with potholes is getting some attention after community members took the issue to Charleston and Berkeley County Councils.

Halfway Creek Road has been on the radar of the South Carolina Department of Transportation for a while now. A group people who live in the area asked for the road to be redone and say they were told it would take two to three years. But after a concerted effort of letter writing, public outcry and constant attendance at meetings, parts of the road are being redone.

There are two projects in the works from last week – a three miles stretch near Stead Creek Road and a one mile stretch near the Charleston/Berkeley County line.

“This road has been in trouble longer than Daniel Island has been Daniel Island,” Joseph Caplinger said. He has lived in the area for 30 years and says the road has never been redone.

The South Carolina Department of Transportation agrees, saying it’s been “decades”.

Caplinger said the road was becoming a safety hazard with potholes big enough to dent the rims on cars.

“It’s getting to the point where it’s now starting to damage vehicles. We have had a few accidents out here,” Caplinger said. “The county decided to put a dirt mine up there which increased the truck traffic a lot, so we are getting big gaping holes in this already bad road.”

The road is no stranger to accidents. Four people were sent to the hospital in April of last year because of a crash. The year before, two people died in separate accidents on the same road. In 2017, a man was killed when his car left the road and struck a tree.

“This road is always used as a cut-through for vehicles and motorcycles. I couldn’t imagine riding a motorcycle on this road,” Caplinger said. “If you’re not from here you don’t really know what’s coming.”

The condition of the road has not escaped the SCDOT.

“We did some 6,000 patches for the entire county since November and 2,000 of them were on that particular road,” SCDOT spokesman James Law said.

One of the big problems with the road is the amount of semi-trucks. Some of that traffic is generated by a large dirt mining operation near the middle of the road. Law says when it rains and large trucks hit filled potholes, the filling just pops out. He says the road ultimately needs to be rebuilt.

“Just putting asphalt on it doesn’t solve the problem,” Law said. “It was never built for the amount of traffic that’s on it now, especially with the heavy truck traffic that’s on it now.”

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