Florence Co. Pine Needles Rd. in need of maintenance

FLORENCE, SOUTH CAROLINA (WMBF) - Overgrown weeds and grass has led members of a Florence community to call Pine Needles Road a "place of eyesores".

Recently Pine Needles Road underwent major construction. Added lanes and an improved overpass are just a few changes made to the area. People who live around the area said those updates are being overshadowed by the lack of maintenance to the landscape on the roadway.

"We were very excited about having a sidewalk that led from your neighborhood to the rail trail, so we could take our kids on bike rides and now it is just an eyesore," said Desiree Hart.

Hart is the owner of Cradle to Crayons located on Pine Needles Rd. She says in the past a group of people from the community have used their own lawn mowers and weed eaters to perform upkeep on the road.

"There was this nice gentleman, and I can't remember his name," said Hart. "Last year he went on his own personal time and weed eat and cut the grass, and we went behind him a picked up trash and stuff."

Florence County Councilman Kent Caudle says the road belongs to the state, which means the South Carolina Department of Transportation is responsible for the upkeep of the road. The councilman went on to say that last year, the county used some of its resources to help with the unruly weeds on Pine Needles Rd.

"They say the funding has been cut… well it's not that it has necessarily been cut, it just takes more for the fuel portion of what they do. I think the state needs to look at an increase in gas tax, that way people that travel through here can pay for our improvements and expenses, said Caudle.

An SCDOT spokesman said due to those budget cuts the state is only funded to perform yard work on Pine Needles Rd. four times a year.  According to that spokesman the grass along Pine Needles Rd. will be cut next week.

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