Marlboro County dealing with growing number of potholes

MARLBORO COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Potholes are becoming a major problem in South Carolina, with many forming in the Grand Strand and the Pee Dee.

In the first three months of 2018, Marlboro County has seen nearly 900 more potholes than in the same period last year.

Tim McGee, the maintenance engineer for the Marlboro Department of Transportation, said the county has been through a lot over the past few years, which has caused wear and tear to many roads.

"We have a crew that steadily patches all day," said McGee.

Over the past few years, natural disasters have hit Marlboro County roads hard, from Hurricane Matthew in 2016 to the recent winter storm this past January.

"Snow plowing efforts, they tend to be rough on older roads, and we had a lot of compacted ice that we had to really bare down to try to get rid of it," McGee said.

In March 2017, 38 potholes were patched in Marlboro County. Last month, that number grew to 474. The challenge with potholes, McGee says, is finding them.

"They'll spring up overnight sometimes or with increase traffic from (a) construction project or something like that, but once we know of them we can jump right on them and get them patched," McGee said.

The damage to a car from potholes - burst tires, vehicles knocked out of alignment - can vary from severe to no damage at all.

With the passage of the gas tax increase last year, McGee hopes roads across the county and the state will get the repairs they need.

The new gas tax will increase the cost of gas by 12 cents over six years, or two cents per year.

McGee believes the gas tax increase will help not only potholes, but other major road conditions, especially bridges.

"The gas tax that's being implemented is going straight to resurfacing and it's going straight to getting our older roads fixed before anything new really comes up," McGee said. "It's going to be incremental over years and so the public should be seeing some good benefits to that."

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