Residents: Landmark Road Needs to Be Paved

Is history turning into a roadblock to progress? They're wondering around Port Wentworth. It's a debate over Old Augusta Road between Moore and Dog Patch.

The road is known for its historical significance. But now it's also being known as a nuisance for residents who have to drive it every day.

Whether it's a big truck or a small one, traveling down the road can get a little rocky.

"Old Augusta Road is a terrible dirt road," said Roxanne Pierce, who has lived there for the past five years. "Lots of people use it as a short cut road to keep from going to Rincon."

But this unpaved shortcut is causing many headaches, even car aches. "Shocks and struts on my car aren't good because of this road," said Pierce. "It's awful."

The Kidsville development program is also on Old Augusta Road, and director Gail Philips says running a business here hasn't been easy. "Usually when it rains hard, I have to go to the bottom of the road, I have to go get the kids from their parents because they have low cars. We don't want to chance them not getting out."

Many years ago our founding father George Washington traveled down this road. That's why it's been declared a historic landmark. But residents who live there say that might not be enough.

In fact, they say they're not asking for much. They just want the county to pave the road.

"Right now, county can't do anything with this road cause it's a federal project," explained Effingham County spokesperson Karen Robertson.

So because the road has been deemed a historic landmark, Effingham County officials don't really have a say. Federal agencies have to make the decision.

A decision residents say should not be this hard to make. "I do care that it's an historic road, but other historic roads are paved," said resident Gail Philips.

The county's Robertson says even if the federal Department of Transportation approves this road being paved, it might take several years to get the multimillion dollar project started.

Reported by: Hena Daniels, hdaniels@wtoc.com