After decades of waiting, neighbors in Beech Island want their road paved

BEECH ISLAND, S.C. (WJBF) – Neighbors in Beech Island are asking Aiken County leaders to fix their road.

On Monday night, the Aiken County Transportation Committee met to discuss several projects, including Forrest Drive in Beech Island.

People living on Forrest Drive say they’ve waited long enough to have their road paved.

The state only gives Aiken County $2 million a year to go towards roads. The estimated cost to pave Forrest Drive is $720,000.

So right now the transportation committee must consider several potential projects before they can commit to spending this much money on one road.

“A lot of people are having to work on their cars, fix their cars, because of this road, and like I said, it’s been about 30 years or longer we’ve been trying to get this road fixed and get it paved,” longtime resident, Marvin Ingram said.

This dirt road is about a third of a mile, located off of Old Jackson Highway in Beech Island. Many of the people living on the road have been here for decades and say the road only gets worse. When it rains parts of the road starts to erode away, making it difficult to drive on.

“You buy a car and about three or four months, it’s in the shop, because it hits bumps in the road, is tearing it up and the only thing we ask is to be treated fair,” Marion Harris said.

People living on the road aren’t the only people afraid to drive on it.

“Now the school buses, when it rains they refuse to bring the kids down, they won’t come down and pick the kids up and they won’t drop them off,” said Tina Ellison, a working mother.

Ellison depends on the school bus to bring her children home, but the drivers say they road is too dangerous to drive when it’s raining.

“So lately when it was raining and school was out our kids were being put out at Highway 28, and if we’re not there, we have to go to the school and pick them up, which we work, you know. We depend on the school bus for a reason,” she explained.

Ellison and other neighbors say they pay taxes too and now it’s their turn to benefit from that money.

Transportation committee members say they will visit the road with the county engineer to get an updated estimate on the cost to pave the road.

They meet every month and hope to know more by their next meeting.

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