GREENVILLE, SC (WSPA) — Drivers in Greenville could be riding on smoother roads, as a seven-year pavement plan is in the works.
City staff said recently more than a hundred roads have been identified for that plan.
Some drivers said things aren’t always smooth sailing as they travel along many roads in the City.
“You know walking around you can see there’s some cracks and different things, but I would say generally in South Carolina, I would say our roads are subpar compared to the rest of the country,” said Ashley Bowers, a Greenville resident. “Cracks in the roads aren’t supposed to be there. Bumps in the roads aren’t supposed to be there,” he said.
“They’re bad. They’re really bad, especially the back roads. The neighborhoods, they’re bad,” said Tria Sims, a frequent driver. “They have potholes. You know, people can bust their tires. You know all kinds of stuff–just mess up your car, and then we have to fix it,” Sims said.
A survey conducted from October to December of last year showed that 33 percent of the roads that the city owns, need to be addressed.
“So we worked with CONSOR Engineering and Roadway Asset Services (RAS), to survey the roads that the city owns around the city, and so we found out that 33 percent of the roads that we own, we need to address,” said Loren Thomas, Multimedia Specialist, City of Greenville. “Most of the roads that we have are in good condition, fair condition, you know satisfactory, but there were some roads that we needed to give a little bit more love to,” she said.
Now relief is on its way, thanks to the City, engineers, and the unique driving system, RAS.
“They had this really cool vehicle with all these cool cameras on it, using radar, really getting that data and going deep into figuring out what each road really needs and then our city engineers they’re basically tailoring that to each road,” Thomas said. “So, not every road gets the same treatment, but we do have roads that we need to address,” she said. “The RAS System that we worked with used cameras and was able to track data for the roadways that it went on and it drove around between October and December of last year, and really just took some really cool pictures and got a view of what these roads need in terms of maintenance.”
“Priority for the city is neighborhoods and safety, and so we want to make sure our roadways are safe in our neighborhoods, and so that people can have a great quality of life,” Thomas said.
City staff said the tool has been key in knowing what roads need to be repaired first.
“With that data that we got, it’s really data driven so our city engineers really looked at the numbers, really looked at the information that they got from that really cool vehicle–the RAS System, and that’s how they prioritized based on need for the roadways that they’re going to tackle first,” Thomas said. “It goes based on need and based on the data too. So, taking all of the politics out of it,” she said.
Over the next seven years, city staff said one third of city roads will be repaved and improved. The list of projects goes on for about 10 pages.
“This is going to be a seven-year plan. So, we know in the first two years, we’ll be using funds from the Neighborhood Infrastructure Bond. We’ll be using about $6 million from the Neighborhood Infrastructure Bond for the first two years, and after that, every year, $1.5 million will be added to it for the rest of that five-year plan,” Thomas said.
No matter how long it takes, many residents who spoke with 7NEWS, said they’re happy change is coming.
“If there’s initiatives to fix the roads, I’d support that,” Bowers said. “I’m glad it’s getting fixed,” he said.
Thomas said the paving schedule is set to begin in the spring of 2023 and will continue for seven years.
Click here to see the long list of roads, along with if or when construction will start for your street.
The City of Greenville also has more information about the project online here.