Town to recommend Gatewood project proceed as planned

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For repairing entrance

By David Meade

During a public meeting of Gatewood subdivision residents held Tuesday night, a vote showed almost all of those attending perferred to continue with the project “as designed” rather than convert a temporary roadway to the main entrance and abandon the current entrance.

Williamston Mayor Mack Durham said in order to pass a resolution at their next meeting, town officials wanted to get a consensus among the residents stating their preference for one of two options for the project.

Anderson County Transportation Committee (ACTC) officials have indicated they could continue with the project to replace the current entrance with an upgraded design or an alternative option of paving the temporary entranceway that was recently constructed and make it the main entrance to the subdivision.

Under the second option, the original entrance, which is in need of repair, would be abandoned. However truck traffic to the town’s Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP) would continue, meaning large trucks will travel through the subdivision, according to the mayor.

The temporary roadway was recently constructed to allow residents a way into and out of the subdivision while the new culvert bridge is being built.

While in the process of obtaining necessary DHEC and FEMA permits for the construction, CoTransco engineers (the company hired by the ACTC to perform engineering work for county road projects), were told a necessary floodplain map and data needed is missing.

FEMA officials have indicated that they will require the town to pay for the necessary information to generate the permit, at a cost of approximately $35,000.

Due to the permitting delay, estimated construction time for the replacement entrance is more than 18 months.

James Bowman, a resident of Gatewood, said there is floodplain information on the FEMA website. Bowman said state officials and insurance officials have told him the information on the FEMA website is what they rely on. “It is as simple as them looking at their own website,” Bowman said.

Councilman Rockey Burgess said he thought the information needed included a flow study, which is what is missing.

Councilman Otis Scott said the project design has “a new kind of culvert. One that is pre cast and is stonger than regular pipe.”

Mayor Durham said that the permit would not be required to rebuild the culvert entrance to current standards, but that major changes requires a new permit. He said the new design by CoTransCo engineers is to the 100 year floodplain and is designed for the traffic that will use it.

Bowman said that the “rainwater did not do the damage. Those trucks did.”

The trucks being referred to are 18-wheel tanker trucks entering the subdivision to dump leachate from the Anderson Regional Landfill into the town’s Waste Water Treatment Plant.

The town began accepting the leachate, and the payments associated with it, approximately 10 years ago when town finances became critical.

The leachate trucks first dumped into a manhole on Mill Street Extension, then later began entering the WWTP facility through the subdivision. They are currently using a temporary dump site on First Street. At the meeting last week, an option of a new pipe being used for dumping the leachate was brought up.

The issue of the leachate trucks was briefly discussed, however Mayor Durham said he wanted to keep the meeting focused on the entranceway options. The leachate truck issue and possible alternative dump options will be addressed at a later time, he indicated.

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Residents also brought up the issue of an increase in crime in the neighborhood since the temporary entrance has been constructed. The entrance is currently gated, however residents said people are walking in and stealing items.

A vote by residents at the end of the meeting indicated their preference is to stay with the current project design to replace the entrance culvert to better standards.

Councilman Rockey Burgess asked for a vote on having the town look into the cost and possiblity of having a designated pipe for the leachate trucks to dump in to. The vote on that option was also almost unanimous.