Neighbors worry about traffic and flooding on Berkeley Co. road

Published: Aug. 25, 2021 at 9:43 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 25, 2021 at 11:34 PM EDT
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BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - People living on Black Tom Road in Berkeley County say they are having trouble leaving their driveways due to traffic.

Residents say the issue is because of Berkeley Preparatory Academy, a new public charter school that has recently opened just down the street from them.

While students are temporarily learning virtually right now, neighbors say when students are getting dropped and picked up from school, traffic becomes a major concern.

“This traffic basically blocks the residents in on Black Tom Road and blocks us from entering and exiting our yards,” resident Debbie Jones said. “It’s car to car traffic. I sat by a light pole once for approximately 20 minutes trying to turn in my driveway because it is bumper to bumper traffic.”

Neighbors say that road work being done right off the entrance to the school has made things worse.

“It starts from seven thirty in the morning until four or five. Sometimes it is until six or later,” Regina Clark said.

People who have lived on the road for years say the traffic has never been a problem until now.

Frances Taylor, who lives on the road, says flooding is another issue they are starting to deal with.

“We’re also having drainage problems, very bad drainage problems, because behind us where the ditches are across the road, they are overflowing with water coming from their construction, and they’re not doing anything about it,” she said.

The school has not responded to a request for comment.

Officials with the South Carolina Department of Transportation released the following statement.

“SCDOT is aware of the aforementioned traffic congestion and flooding issues on Black Tom Road in Summerville, SC. The traffic may understandably be caused by construction in the area to construct a new turn lane operation near the recently built Berkeley Preparatory Academy.  The construction on the turn lane is expected to be completed next week, weather permitting.

In regards to flooding in the area, SCDOT has contacted the contractor for the turn lane operation to immediately address the flooding concerns to prevent further issues.  It is the contractor’s responsibility to keep positive drainage a priority in the area until final inspection and approval of the project is obtained.

SCDOT asks that drivers in the area use patience and drive carefully in the area until construction has been completed.”

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