February 21, 2024

The Nerve Archive

Where Government Gets Exposed

Who Owns This Road Anyway?

Road Pothole

Either the city or the county or the state. Or no one.

Of all the tips and anecdotes we receive, probably the majority have to do with the Department of Transportation. Whether that’s because roads affect our lives more directly than, say, tourism or social welfare, or because DOT is a rambling wreck of a state agency, we don’t know.

In any case, this one is one of our favorites. It illustrates nicely the contention of many critics of South Carolina’s transportation system that the state owns too many roads – so many that it can’t repair the vast majority of them. So many, indeed, that state officials can’t keep track of which ones the state owns and which ones it doesn’t.

We live at the intersection of two roads in our neighborhood. Both of the roads are in pretty bad shape, but one in particular is literally falling apart. My husband is convinced that it has damaged both our cars. (The engine mount broke on his truck last month!) There are potholes one or two feed across. Some neighbors have filled him with sand, but that’s a temporary fix. So we called DOT. DOT said the county owns the road. So we called the county office.

They said the city owns the road. We called the city, and – guess what! – the lady at the city office says the state owns the road. We think the state owns the road, becuase the roads at either end are state-owned. But who knows? Maybe no one owns it, and somebody should buy it and sell it to the state! The down side is that it doesn’t look like those potholes are going to be repaire any time soon.

If you have a story you’d like to see on The Nerve – or just a rant – send it to us at news@thenerve.org.

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