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Dorchester Road schedule online, but troubles continue

  • Tuesday, May 27, 2014

A week-by-week schedule of Dorchester Road construction plans has been posted online with the hopes of keeping the contractors more accountable.

Dorchester County Councilmen Jay Byars and David Chinnis requested Davis & Floyd, the contract management company, to make the construction schedule publicly available during the councilmen’s press conference on May 5.

“I appreciate the contractors for the Dorchester Road project being responsive to our request to get serious about getting this road done, and also their responsiveness to posting updates on what should happen over the next two weeks on their website so people can see what work is coming,” said Byars.

The public can access the schedule at http://dorchester/roadstax.org/DorchesterRd/DorchesterRdPhotos.htm.

Three weeks are listed on the site: the week of May 5, the week of May 12 and the week of May 19.

The three weeks list a variety of work to be completed, including milling existing asphalt, paving sections of road, constructing curbs and gutters and adjusting traffic signals.

As of Sunday morning, both items listed for the week of May 5 and three of the six items listed for the week of May 12 are marked as completed.

“We will continue to be vigilant in helping to hold them accountable so this road can get this finished soon for the residents’ benefit,” Byars said.

Chinnis said he was thankful for the schedule, but there are still bigger problems to deal with.

“I still have concerns about the paver base on what they call Phase II. I’m not satisfied with the response we got,” he said.

As the councilman explained it, the substandard paver base that was discovered on Phase 1 of the project was partially used in Phase 2, “until the truck was empty,” he said, but the base is not being removed for this portion of the project.

An intergovernmental agreement between Davis & Floyd, Dorchester County and SCDOT is being arranged for a five-year warranty.

“In spite of that is has a substandard base in there,” Chinnis said. “I asked the question, ‘Will Davis & Floyd cover for an additional five years?’ and they said no.

“The way I understood it, there is an intergovernmental agreement asking for a five-year warranty on [Dorchester Road]. Well it’s a 10-year road, give me a 10-year warranty.”

At the May 19 County Council meeting, the councilman proposed the group send a chairman’s letter to SCDOT asking for help.

The letter, which is addressed to the secretary of transportation, asks “SCDOT take responsibility for an additional five years of maintenance for years 6 – 10 after the five-year warranty bond for Phase II of the Dorchester Road project has expired.”

Councilman Larry Hargett expressed his support for the letter at the council meeting, but said, “I think this is about six months too late.”

In response, Byars provided copies of a letter he sent to SCDOT on Feb. 27, 2014, asking for assistance with evaluating the Dorchester Road project and making improvements.

He received a response on April 4, 2014, denying the request; Director of Construction Todd Steagall said the department didn’t have the manpower to review the project.

Councilman Byars seconded the motion, which was passed unanimously.

“Hopefully we’re going to get some answers on this soon,” he said.

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