Early Tuesday morning, inspectors with the South Carolina Department of Transportation began walking bridges on Interstate 77, from Columbia to the state line.
The inspections were ordered because of recent holes found in bridges in York County. They were discovered at Celanese Road, near Porter Road and at Harris Road in Fort Mill. In some cases, pieces of concrete had fallen from the bridge deck, leaving exposed metal in the road. Others were holes that went all the way through.
"Most of our problems seem to be up around Rock Hill," said Inspection Team Leader Todd McNinch.
However, even experts couldn't pinpoint exactly why that is. McNinch said interstate bridges in York County get about five times the traffic that rural bridges do. Most of that is thanks to commuter traffic to and from Charlotte.
However, local bridges are also older, on average. Most were built in the early 1970s, then added to in later years.
"They take a lot of wear and tear," McNinch said. "It's just like taking a piece of sand paper and rubbing on it."
On Tuesday, the inspection team walked nearly 20 bridges, but had to stop for the day before getting a look at most of the York County bridges.
Workers plan to continue inspections next week.
In South Carolina, money for road repairs is funded through the state's gas tax. It hasn't been raised since 1986, and that has squeezed SCDOT's budget.
Harold and Ruby Kershner from Kershaw would be willing to pay more for gas if it meant safer roads.
"We live on a fixed income, but in one way, if you could get good roads, I guess it would be worth it," she said.
Marcus McKinney said he'd pay more at the pump too if it would save his car.
"I hate paying for gas, but you hit a pothole and you're crying. I want to be able to get to work and back," he said.
The state Legislature did allocate more money in the upcoming budget year for road and bridge projects. However, it's a fraction of what DOT claims is needed statewide.
Others like John Dickson said taxes and gas prices keep rising, and the money for roads should come from elsewhere.
"I don't want to pay more for gas to fix the roads," he said. "I think they're putting money where it's not need. I think we need to get smart about it.”
Crews are also checking bridges on Interstate 85 south of Charlotte. Once the inspections are finished, engineers will go back, and decide what the agency will do as far as needed repairs, based on priority.