Some flooding relief? DOT to work on 2 streets

A driver in downtown Darlington turns off South Main Street during the heavy rains Sept. 17. PHOTO BY DAWSON JORDAN

By Bobby Bryant

Darlington got an estimated 7 inches of rain in one day Sept. 17, when the leftovers of Hurricane Sally flooded out streets all over town, turning parking lots into wading pools.
But now there’s a little light at the end of the soggy tunnel: The state Department of Transportation has agreed to fix all of Wells Street (sinkholes and drains) and the “bottom section” of Orange Street, says Mayor Curtis Boyd.
DOT officials said they are putting out bids for the work, Boyd told the News & Press. It won’t be cheap: The last time bids were sought for repair work in that area, a few years ago, the cost was in the $300,000 range, Boyd said.
No completion date for the work has been set, he said.
Boyd credited state Sen. Gerald Malloy of Hartsville with helping push DOT to a decision on those two streets. Boyd also said he had “harassed” the agency for months on the issue. “Now my job is to stay behind them,” he said. “Being on them constantly is what I’ve been trying to do.”
“Persistence pays off. … We made some good progress,” said Boyd, who has often criticized DOT for not repairing Darlington streets and drains that the state owns. “It makes us look bad, because the citizens I represent think we are not doing our job.”
In an interview with WPDE-TV the day after the last flood, Boyd said, “Since I have been mayor, since January, DOT put a lock on their door and it probably was because of me.”
As bad as the Sept. 17 flooding was, it could have been much worse, Boyd said. “We just can’t take but so much water” with the city’s century-old infrastructure, he said. “Thank goodness we only had rain for one day” on the 17th.

Author: Stephan Drew

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