The Dorchester County Sales Tax Transportation Authority (DCTA) has been working since 2004 on dozens of different road projects using penny sales tax revenues, including paving some of the county’s 250 miles of dirt roads. Later this week, that effort will continue with five more roads slated for paving.
The groundbreaking for the paving of four county roads will be held on Tuesday:
1. Hickory Nut Drive, near Harleyville
2. Delee Circle, near the town of Dorchester
3. Harley Road, near the town of Dorchester
4. Hughes Road, near the town of Dorchester
The DCTA is also funding paving work on one state road: Spring Road, located near Saint George.
The roads are selected based on how many people live on or near the road, the cost to improve it, impacts to wetlands and whether or not residents will allow the use of their property to widen the road.
Mike Murphree, the chairman of the DCTA, said the group has now paved about 70 percent of county’s dirt roads.
“A lot of them are farm to market roads that turned into family neighborhoods,” said Murphree. “And what we’re trying to do is help them because they’re part of our list and they’re part of our program to get them in and get them a road.”
Murphree said the goal of the paving the smaller dirt roads is to make it easier for residents to get in and out of their homes.
DCTA is also working to make sure that residents in the western part of the county benefit from the penny sales tax projects.
“We have the larger and bigger roads at the lower end of our county but we also have to have those folks at the upper end of the county participate and the way we worked it out was we’re going to work on your dirt roads while we work on our Bacons Bridge and our Dorchester Road and our Highway 78,” he said.
DCTA is trying to fund the paving of as many dirt roads as possible in the coming years but Murphree said that some will be excluded because funding is limited and because some property owners do not want to give the right of way to allow for the widening of some roads.
It is estimated to cost about $1.5 million to improve the five dirt roads.
The work on the four county roads should be done by the end of 2019. The paving of Spring Road could take about 18 months to complete.