FORT MILL TOWNSHIP — Residents living near the Gold Hill Road and I-77 Interchange, in front of Stateline Chrysler Jeep and Dodge, may have noticed increasing damage to the sidewalk.
Tom Stevens, who lives within walking distance of the sidewalk, said he has seen trucks drive over the sidewalk as they exit onto Gold Hill Road.
“What if somebody’s walking up there and a truck decides to go up on the sidewalk?,” Stevens said. “It’s a sidewalk. It’s for walking on, not for driving on. It’s a mess."
York County Pennies for Progress program Manager Phil Leazer confirmed that large trucks are likely part of the problem.
“At first glance it appears this particular sidewalk damage is the result of tractor trailer trucks cutting their turns short, which started some sidewalk deterioration, which has then been made worse by the weather and age,” Leazer said.
Pennies for Progress is a funding vehicle for county roads projects. Revenue from a 1-cent sales tax pays for the projects.
According to Leazer, Gold Hill Road and the sidewalk that runs parallel to it are owned by the South Carolina Department of Transportation, which means repairs for the sidewalk fall under SCDOT’s responsibilities rather than the county’s.
Bradley Trout, SCDOT resident maintenance engineer of York County, said SCDOT has since made temporary repairs to make the sidewalk safer for residents.
“Hopefully it’ll be safer to walk on,” Stevens said. “The way it’s been, you could sprain an ankle trying to walk on the sidewalk trying to cross over (Interstate) 77.”
SCDOT focused on a short-term solution because York County and SCDOT are working to reconfigure Gold Hill Road through Pennies for Progress. The new configuration is meant to help traffic move more efficiently and reduce delays, but Leazer said sidewalk conditions would also see improvements.
“When this interchange is constructed, which we hope to have underway in 2016, the sidewalks will be reconstructed,” Leazer said. “We will be accounting for traditional truck traffic and turn movements to help reduce similar sidewalk damages in the future.”
Stevens is skeptical that SCDOT will produce a long-term solution.
“Back in 2012, late in the year, they told me it was projected to be fixed in six months. So that was about a year and a half ago. Now it’s another year and a half,” he said.