Need For Upstate Road Repair 24x Greater Than Funding - WSPA.com

Need For Upstate Road Repair 24x Greater Than Funding

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Are rough roads wrecking your car? It may be because our local Department of Transportation funding falls far short of its needs. Are rough roads wrecking your car? It may be because our local Department of Transportation funding falls far short of its needs.
SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. -

Are rough roads wrecking your car? It may be because our local Department of Transportation funding falls far short of its needs.

Channing Farr, who lives in Greer, said crumbling Upstate roads are costing him.

“The pot holes are terrible. You come off the highways, the ramps -- I busted one of my tire rods about a month ago,” said Farr.

Upstate SCDOT maintenance engineer Jason Allison said the agency tries to fix pot holes within 24 hours of getting a report, but it's a quick-fix to a long-term problem.

“When you're going back and patching pot holes, it's not a permanent fix. It's not resurfacing,” said Allison.

So why isn't more resurfacing getting done?

The Upstate SCDOT agency gets about $22 million in federal and non-federal aid a year.

Right now, the agency estimates there's $528 million dollars worth of resurfacing, rehab and preservation needs in Greenville, Pickens, Oconee and Spartanburg counties.

That's 24-times as much money as it gets a year.

“We're out there stretching the dollars as far as they'll go and when they don't go from A to B, we've just got to go from A to A-and-a-half,” said Allison.

When Farr’s tire rod got busted, he had to pay to get his car towed and fixed. He filed a damage claim with SCDOT.

Here's what you need to know if it happens to you: SCDOT is only on the hook for your damage if the agency already knew the defect in the road was there and if it had a reasonable amount of time to fix it. You can expect to wait up to six months before SCDOT gets back to you on whether your claim checks out.

“I don't have a great car, but I need to get back and forth to work every day. And just having these roads being rough as they are and hitting the holes so deep where it breaks your tire rod, it's tough to pay for," said Farr.

Turns out, it's tough for the DOT to pay for too.

One Upstate county is thinking about taking the problem into its own hands. Greenville County Council is discussing whether to add a referendum to the Nov. 2014 ballot to add a penny sales tax. The money would go toward fixing both state and local roads within the county. If the proposal makes it to the ballot and voters say yes to the tax, it will be the first county in the Upstate to do so.

Related:

Heavy Rains Wash Out SCDOT’s Emergency Budget

Would You Vote for Penny Sales Tax to Fix Roads?

Is Tax Proposed in Greenville Co. Working in Other Counties?

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