Wednesday, January 22, 2014
It's been nearly seven months since a line of thunderstorms on July 1, dumped six inches of rain on Williamsburg County. The torrential rains subsequently caused widespread damage to area homes and infrastructure. Several families were evacuated from their homes and roads were washed out. One of the worst roads to see damage was a portion of Madison Avenue located in Kingstree. A gapping hole that stretches the entire width of the road resulted and the area was blocked off to traffic. However, after seven months the hole remains an impediment for drivers and a saftey concern. Richard Livingston, Resident Maintenance Engineer for Department of Transportation (DOT) is in charge of the repair. He explained there are several reasons behind the delay. The project originally was advertised for bids but the lowest bid came in at three times what was estimated. With no emergency monies available at that time, Livingston said they withdrew the bids. "It was about $88,000 so we had to reject the bid and accept it to do in-house." said Livingston. Livingston said the two concrete boxes had to be manufactured and they are waiting on delivery. A box functions as a junction point between the pipes and a collection point for the run off. The original system only had one box that caught the water flow so the addition of another will better facilitate the movement of water. Livingston said collapse of the road occurred when the decades-old corrugated pipe and boxes, could not handle the concentration of the water. "There is a long stretch down stream and upstream that is off the right-of-way that's just deteriorating and evidently the amount of rain that was concentrated in that drainage system was just overwhelmed," said Livingston. "The system found a weak spot in the line and it just eroded away with that much pressure behind it." Eddie Ingram was happy to hear the news. "We were complained out," said the homeowner whose property is adjacent to the site. "This should have been done a long time ago."