Facebook

Greer residents give commission an earful for road repair needs

By Jim Fair, Editor
Published on Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Enlarge photo

Greer Police Chief Dan Reynolds voiced his concern for structurally-deficient bridges that may not able to support emergency vehicles.

Jim Fair

Greer Police Chief Dan Reynolds voiced his concern for structurally-deficient bridges that may not able to support emergency vehicles.



Enlarge photo

City Hall's event venue was packed as one room filled with 18 members of the commission and about 75 residents and visitors.

Jim Fair

City Hall's event venue was packed as one room filled with 18 members of the commission and about 75 residents and visitors.



Enlarge photo

Donna Smith, center, and Reno Deaton, on her right, represented Greer at the commission meeting.

Jim Fair

Donna Smith, center, and Reno Deaton, on her right, represented Greer at the commission meeting.



Enlarge photo

Mark Ashmore, who prepared a list of questionable roads, included intersections and widening of Hwy. 101 / 80 at the Inland Port, Buncombe Road and Hwy. 14, and Suber Road, Batesville Road and Hwy. 14.

Jim Fair

Mark Ashmore, who prepared a list of questionable roads, included intersections and widening of Hwy. 101 / 80 at the Inland Port, Buncombe Road and Hwy. 14, and Suber Road, Batesville Road and Hwy. 14.



Donna Smith was prophetic when asking greater Greer businesses and residents to voice their “fears, concerns and needs” at last Thursday’s Greenville County Citizens Roads Advisory Commission public session at Greer City Hall.

Greer Police Chief Dan Reynolds told about 75 attendees unsafe bridges were a concern when responding to emergencies. Jack Stewart said three shopping centers within one mile of Old Spartanburg Road and the Brushy Creek intersection was as problematic for traffic as the need for sidewalks on Hudson Road near Eastside High School and Brushy Creek Elementary. And Brian Martin said three new subdivisions at Suber, Brushy Creek and Gibbs Shoals roads should demand turn lanes at schools on those roadways.

Mayor Rick Danner warmed up the packed crowd at City Hall stating Greer had 1,300 new homes in some stage of planning or construction through 2014-2015. The next decade, Danner said, Greer could expect a 40 percent boost in population to over 40,000.

Adding perspective to Greer’s growth and its road needs, now and in the future, Brandon Wilson, assistant maintenance engineer for the S.C. Department of Transportation, said it will take 83 years at the current $9 million to $10 million annual allotment for the 18 to 20 miles Greenville County typically paves. That’s an $80 million shortfall, Wilson said.

Of the 461 state-maintained bridges in Greenville County, 32 are defined as structurally deficient, Wilson added.

And that’s when about a fourth of the 67 people attending began offering their concerns.

Reynolds gave an impassioned response to Chairperson Lisa Smith asking law enforcement for their comments. Reynolds echoed many complaints on the growing number of potholes on Hwy. 101 and their increasing size with the freezing waters seeping into the cracks expanding the damage.

“When you tell me a bridge won’t support a fire truck or some heavy emergency equipment, that scares me and it should scare you. Something needs to be done,” Reynolds said. “We all have a personal interest in the roadways and we need to provide a financial commitment. All of us need to do our part and take measures to fix this problem.”

The two-hour session provided a central theme of speakers giving priority to fixing dangerous roads and bridges. Other comments included adding additional lanes or turn lanes for safety, providing sidewalks to make it safer for school children walking to and from schools, cross walks, and building adequate roads that will mirror the new housing developments and anticipated retail growth.

• Mark Ashmore listed intersections and widening of Hwy. 101 / 80 at the Inland Port, Buncombe Road and Hwy. 14, and Suber Road, Batesville Road and Hwy. 14.

• Mark West cited more sidewalks for Gibbs Shoals and connecting the schools at Riverside high and middle schools. Sidewalks at Century Park and turn lanes off Brushy Creek road into the complex.

• Jack Stewart voiced his concern with three shopping centers within one mile of each other near Eastside High School at Old Spartanburg Road and Brushy Creek intersection. Stewart wanted more sidewalks on Hudson Road for citizens to be able to safely navigate either side of the street.

• Andrew Havran expressed the need to expand Suber Road off of Brushy Creek Road towards Riverside High School. He suggested signage to designated turn lanes and bolder paint for visibility in clear and inclement weather. Havran also asked for sidewalks at the Riverside Park area.

• Brian Martin noted the new subdivisions at Suber Road, Brushy Creek and Gibbs Shoals would benefit with turn lanes entering the complexes. The widening of Brushy Creek from Old Spartanburg to Buncombe Road was suggested plus emphasizing the need for sidewalks at schools for children to walk.

• Greer Police Sgt. Randle Ballenger commented the department communicates monthly with the state to repair guardrails and timing with traffic signals where needed. Ballenger said Hwy. 101 from Hwy. 80 South is deteriorating and ice causing road cracks that develop into potholes are best exhibited on Memorial Drive Extension.

• Greenville County Councilman Joe Dill (District 17, Tigerville, Slater-Marietta and Travelers Rest) cracked he was “busting at the seams waiting to make his suggestions.” Some of his lengthy list included widening the intersection at Peggy’s Diner to Medford Church, and extensive improvements at O’Neal Church Road, Hwy. 101 to the end at Hwy. 11, Peach Orchard at Taylors Road 101/290 and Pleasant Hill needing paving in the Gavins Road area. Drainage at Hwy. 101 and Gilreath’s Mill needs fixing.

Smith asked for a wish list at the end of the session.

Brian Martin suggested a connector extending from Verne Smith Parkway (Hwy. 80), “go through, under and over developed neighborhoods to connect The Parkway at Pelham.” Martin also recommended building ramps from the Batesville Road bridge over I-85 would relieve pressure to Pelham.

Joe Mahaffey said additional revenue is needed to offset the limited improvements that cost $100,000 per mile to resurface one lane. Trucks switching to alternative fuels are decreasing revenue the state gains through fuel tax, Mahaffey said. He suggested working through the legislature to diversify the gas tax on vehicles that use natural gas, are electric or hybrids.

A resolution passed by Greenville County last November asked for a commission to compile a list of roads, intersections and bridges to be improved. The reports from these public forums will be compiled in a report due to County Council on April 1 ranking the list of improvements.

County residents are invited to participate in a survey and give their views at or email

Residents can give their views online and participate in a survey at Greenvillecounty.org or by email.

Share



Related Photo Galleries


Leave a Comment



Trending: Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport, Obituaries, Chon Restaurant, Allen Bennett Hospital

GREER CALENDAR

View All Events