Road repairs in Horry Co. carry hefty costs

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - There are more than 1,000 different roads in Horry County that drivers use every day, and more than half of them still need major work done.

WMBF News has learned that the Horry County is working against 40 years of backlog when it comes to streets like Appaloosa Road, badly in need of repair. There's work going on now to pave the dirt road.

Road construction, however, is an ongoing project for the whole county because about 47 percent of the roads in Horry County are still not paved.

"I am surprised at that in a way but in other ways I'm not," admits Ginger Fornal, Horry County resident. "I mean, little dirt roads like this, I mean, I guess they're not a priority."

With more than 1,000 roads to handle, the county says it's not that roads aren't a priority, but it's just very expensive to do all the work that needs to be done.

To pave only one mile of road, it costs about $400,000, and to resurface one mile of roadway, it costs about $100,000.

Horry County Spokeswoman Lisa Bourcier says the problem comes from those dollar figures add up to one grand total when you consider all the repairs needed.

"[There's] a large network of roads that we have in the county. It's very expensive, and council's been very good over the last several years putting money towards not only paving roads but resurfacing roads," claims Bourcier.

A lot of that money comes from the taxpayers' pocket. Specifically, the funds that are collected from taxes you pay through the penny sales tax.

The penny sales tax has been in effect for five years now, so we're taking a look at the most important part of the project for many people who live and drive in the Grand Strand area, the paving of dirt roads.

Fornal has lived on Hopewell Road for years, and so has her hope that the road will be fixed.

"I've lived here since 1986. The roads were bumpy and dirt and cars are always dusty; there's holes in the roads and they're muddy when it rains," sighs Fornal.

She shared the same story with people living next to the more than 681 unpaved miles inside Horry County. A problem the county has spent years and extra tax dollars trying to get a handle on, according to Bourcier.

"We started a road plan several years ago and we've been able to pave 16 miles of road a year," she boasts.

Hopewell and Appaloosa are two roads that were lucky to make this year's list. Once the county paves the dirt roads, the work doesn't stop there.

They still have to pay for the upkeep of the roads about every 10 years.

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