Florence County, SC - By Alisha Laventure
FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) – After months of delays, one Florence road is finally seeing improvements.
Nearly seven months after the project began, repaving on Williamson Road is scheduled to end this week. It is the last of four roads in Florence County to be repaved as part of a project that began in November 2009.
Pickney Drive, Clairmont Drive and Betty Street were all repaved within the first month of the project's start. However, work on Williamson Road was postponed when the contractor initially hired for the project went out of business.
After a second contractor was hired, repair work was delayed while the contractor waited on a permit from a railroad company. The permit was needed to allow workers to pave a section of Williamson Road that extends beyond a set of train tracks.
South Carolina Department of Transportation Assistant Resident Construction Engineer Chris Coleman says a lot of truckers drive on Williamson Road.
"It was called the 'break down' road," Coleman said, referring to the many pot holes that could be found on Williamson Road before resurfacing began.
Coleman said Williamson Road also had cracks that allowed water to seep in and rot the ground underneath the pavement. In addition to rutting issues, these defects were contributing factors to the decision to resurface the road.
Repaving work on Williamson Road is two weeks underway and drivers are thrilled by the improvements made already.
Willie Brown gave driving on Williamson Road it a nine out of ten now that it is being repaved.
"The road is much smoother and much safer," Brown said. "Safer particularly for people who walk along-side the road."
The cost of resurfacing Williamson Road totals approximately $200,000 which is nearly a third of the county's overall budget for its repaving project. Coleman said this amount was apportioned to Williamson because it was the longest of the four roads repaved.
As long as the weather permits, Coleman said Williamson Road should be finished by Thursday or Friday.
He said the new pavement should last 15 to 20 years before the roads will need to be repaved, which will save the county money in the long run.