Repairs begin on damaged section of Bethea Road
Work has begun to replace a section of Bethea Road that was washed out during Hurricane Matthew in 2016. The hurricane dumped over 12 inches of rain on the Florence/Darlington area in just over 24 hours leading to multiple bridge and dam failures. An earthen dam installed in the 1950s on the campus of the Bethea Retirement Community washed out, taking a 70-foot section of Bethea Road with it. “It took nearly five years of work with our insurance company, engineers and multiple local, state and federal agencies to secure all of the approvals and permits to replace the dam and road but we have been cleared to begin and work is now underway,” said Ben Spurling, executive director of Bethea Retirement. The nearly $1 million project will be constructed by Darlington-based R.E Goodson Construction Co. They were selected from a competitive bid process in 2020. Construction will include debris removal, outlet and spillway replacement, dam and roadbed replacement, right-of-way clearing, paving and striping. The project is expected to take 120 days. “Nobody will be happier to see this road reopened than the residents and staff of Bethea Retirement. We have worked diligently to get to this point and thank all that have been impacted by this damage for your patience,” Spurling added.