by: Greg Suskin Updated:
CHESTER COUNTY, S.C. - Leroy Cottingham has lived in a rural part of Chesterfield County for a dozen years. During those years, he said he's heard plenty of promises about paving the streets in his neighborhood.
They've yet to be fulfilled.
"I guess they've gone on so long without doing anything about it, I'm sure they think they can keep getting away with it," Cottingham said.
There are about 300 homes off Midway Road between Highway 9 and Highway 52. They are mostly mobile homes on large open lots.
County officials said Midway Road was paved 13 years ago but the roads in the subdivision are dirt, and in heavy rain like on Tuesday, they're mud. There's no gravel, no shoulder and the roads are marked with rain-filled potholes and spots so soft your shoe can easily get stuck in the deep mud.
“It's terrible. You're always worried about going off in a ditch," said resident James Baldwin. "I think they've forgotten about us out here."
That's certainly not for lack of effort, neighbors told Channel 9.
At least twice they've gotten a few hundred names on a petition to ask the county to pave the roads. They have also spoken to elected leaders about the issue.
"They need to do something before someone gets hurt on these roads," said Joey Linton, a neighbor.
Chesterfield is a small county, population-wise, and the councilman who represents the area did speak to Channel 9 Tuesday. Robert Cole said the money is just not there.
"It's just a bad situation, but you can't get blood from a turnip," Cole said. "I'm afraid it's going to be a while. I don't see it happening in the near future."
Cole also blamed state funding to counties, which has seen major cuts.
However, the residents along Midway Road don't accept that.
They plan to show up in force Wednesday morning at the county council meeting and make their voices heard.
Some neighbors expect that might do some good, others don't. No one, though, wants to give up.
"These are the worst dirt roads I've ever driven on," Cottingham said. "They've got to do something."
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