OAK RIDGE CLUB RD: why hasn’t the road been fully paved yet
WINDSOR — You just can’t escape from the big story all over the Central Savannah River Area: the heavy rain.
And there are some areas that are very prone to minor flooding, such as WEST ST at its terminus with ROSEMARY ST in Williston.
And then there is OAK RIDGE CLUB RD, which begins in Windsor and ends in Williston after ten miles.
Roughly five miles of the highway is paved, however, almost none of that portion is in the areas in Windsor where the residents are clustered together. Also, none of the portion of the road that enters the Williston zip code (29853) is paved.
That means that OAK RIDGE CLUB RD turns into a marsh if there is a sustained period of rain, as was the case in recent weeks, as that highway was under a flood advisory quite a few times.
“It’s just recently started getting this bad,” said Keith Barton, who resides on the highway. “I’d like to see some drainage ditches put in the side where the water would have somewhere to go.
“We were trying to go get groceries a couple days ago when it got real bad, and we stopped because it looked too deep to try, and we seen a truck come, so I said, I’ll stop and wait right here and see if this truck get through it, and sure enough, it made it through it, but it was almost up to the headlight.”
WRDW’s Chad Mills scooped up some water along OAK RIDGE CLUB RD. The McDonald’s cup was nearly filled up.
Sharon Stillwell also lives along OAK RIDGE CLUB RD. She said that an ambulance (not immediately known if it was from Williston Rescue, the closest ambulance fleet to OAK RIDGE CLUB RD) got stuck in the mud along the highway.
She is also having lots of trouble navigating along the highway.
“It’s almost impossible,” she said. “I bought a new car, and I’m having to drive the old truck.”
Both she and Mr. Barton wants something done, either a paving of the whole highway or drainage system put in on portions of it.
Large agricultural tractors and trucks have allegedly caused the degradation of OAK RIDGE CLUB RD.
“We’d just like to see something done about it. We’re taxpayers, and we pay the same thing the people with the pavement pay,” said Mr. Barton.
“I think we’ve paid taxes, and if you drive on any of the roads in Aiken County, I don’t know where our money goes, but I don’t see it going to the roads,” said Mrs. Stillwell.
Kathy Rawls, the Aiken County councilwoman that represents that area — as well as White Pond and Williston, says that the highway will not be fully paved. She claims that some people are unwilling to give up some of their property to the county. Councilwoman Rawls believes that flooding is not a problem along the highway.
However, the residents beg to differ and so do I. In fact, residents say that the Windsor Fire Department have been coming to suck up water from the rains weekly on Thursdays so it can be easily navigated.
This story is really heartbreaking for those people who live out there, and it is an example of bureaucratic clusterfuck in Aiken.
I’m sure that the residents of OAK RIDGE CLUB RD love the rain because if it wasn’t for that, temperatures would be near 100 degrees. But, they also hate it because of the damage it is doing to their highway, as this story clearly show.
There was a highway called CURTIS DR in Barnwell County that was in the same situation a some years back. Residents there decided to finally give up the fight and give some of their land to the county so that CURTIS DR can be paved. That highway is now fully paved from its terminus with SC 37 to its terminus with SANDY HOOK RD.
Not to mention that there are brand new Street Name signs along OAK RIDGE CLUB RD, where as the highway itself have not been grounded up for pavement or any other type of road work. Yes, it is much cheaper to install the Street Name signs, but given that Aiken County’s signs were already in compliance (i.e., Proper Case), I felt that the replacement of the signs was totally unnecessary. That money could have gone towards a possible repaving project along OAK RIDGE CLUB RD instead.
Also, to be honest: Councilwoman Rawls needs to spend a little less time in Aiken and a little more time along OAK RIDGE CLUB RD while we got a pretty impressive rain streak going on to see the problems for herself. The residents who live there know the road best. So, why are they gonna be dishonest about the problem, especially when there are News 12 cameras there?
[image of OAK RIDGE CLUB RD via Bing Maps]
[image of flooding at the Grove Apartment complex via NBC News]