SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – Spartanburg County Public Works is trying to keep flood-prone parts of the county high and dry.
County officials are hoping to replace rusted out pipes throughout the county. They said doing this will help prevent flooding and make roads safer.
Residents 7NEWS spoke with, are on board.
“Yes, we have water issues,” said Jerry Steadman.
People who live in certain parts of Spartanburg County said flooding can be a problem.
“I’ve seen it, this creek back here, I’ve seen it out of the banks, completely out of the banks and up into the field,” said Steadman.
The Public Works Department is now going to apply for a $1.5 million grant to address the issue.
First, they had to get approval from County Council, which came during Monday night’s meeting.
“We’re looking at every avenue to bring funding home to Spartanburg County,” said Ron Kirby.
County engineer Ron Kirby said the existing pipes are outdated.
“Corrugated metal pipes, which 40 or 50 years ago people thought were really a great solution. But in the Upstate, the bottoms rust out fairly quickly,” he said.
He said the soil has a lot to do with it.
“Soils in the Upstate are very acidic, so when water runs across it, it causes it to rust a lot faster,” said Kirby.
Kirby said the rusting pipes are a threat to safety.
“Once the bottoms rust out, the roads start to sink, and it becomes a danger to the public,” he said.
Jerry Steadman experienced that danger firsthand.
“You either have to stay at home or go around the other direction,” he said.
The three areas this project would target are: Jonas Circle, Reedy Street and Chestnut Ridge Drive.
Kirby said growing development in the county has added to how much water they get.
“Paved areas, rooftops, driveways, roads increase the amount of water that comes,” he said.
They hope to replace the metal pipes with something more durable and make other upgrades.
“We’re going with box culverts, which are square or rectangular concrete boxes,” said Kirby.
Residents were left excited.
“I would think it would be a plus for this neighborhood because, like I said, we don’t have that problem often, but when we do, it’s a problem,” said Steadman.
Kirby said they need to apply for the grant by the end of the month and they’ll know if they’re approved by the end of this year.
He said if they get these federal funds, with no local match, all the projects will be completed by the end of 2026.