DOT repairs some potholes after ‘Fix Ebinport’ signs go up in Rock Hill

adouglas@heraldonline.comFebruary 26, 2014 

— A state road repair crew filled in potholes on Ebinport Road in Rock Hill on Wednesday morning, appeasing some residents who had put up “Fix Ebinport” yard signs earlier this week to air their frustration over the bumpy road.

Some residents watched workers fill troublesome potholes, but neighborhood leaders are still pushing for a full repaving instead of piecemeal repairs, said Paul Anderko, a local political activist who jump-started the “Fix Ebinport” sign campaign.

Officials with the York County office of the state Department of Transportation office said Wednesday that Ebinport Road is high on their street rehabilitation list, but limited money is an issue for Ebinport and many other roads in York County that need work.

It’s possible that a federal aid program designed to help state officials repave streets will provide some money later this year, said John McCarter, DOT administrator for District 4, which includes York, Chester and Lancaster counties. Experts have estimated that it could cost around $850,000 to repave the nearly 2.5-mile stretch that connects Cherry, Celanese and India Hook roads.

Typically, the federal program provides up to $3 million a year for DOT to repave York County roads. That money pays the cost of repaving 8 to 12 miles of road. Some state money also is sometimes available for repaving, McCarter said.

In total, the state is responsible for maintenance – including repaving – of more than 1,300 miles of road in York County.

Ebinport Road was last repaved in the early to mid-1990s, McCarter said. Engineers have evaluated the street and realize that it needs a full rehabilitation as the pavement is “pushing the limits” of use.

“The crux of the issue is funding,” he said, “and the money is hard to come by.”

York County officials also have Ebinport Road on a major projects list. Part of Anderko’s and other neighbors’ frustrations come from their road waiting on the county’s “Pennies for Progress” work list since 2003.

The county uses a 1-cent sales tax to raise money for road work through the Pennies program.

Like the DOT, county officials have said improvements to Ebinport Road have been delayed because of limited money. York County’s plans for Ebinport include widening the road to include a center turn lane and adding sidewalks in places where there are only shallow road ditches. The project is estimated to cost about $13.5 million.

Wednesday’s patching and pothole repair was part of DOT’s routine work on state-owned roads such as Ebinport, McCarter said. The Herald first reported on the “Fix Ebinport” signs on Tuesday.

While some neighbors are thankful to have apparently gotten DOT’s attention with the yard signs, Anderko said he’s not happy that the majority of the signs had disappeared late Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning.

DOT officials said they removed at least three of the signs and are holding them for Anderko to pick up at a Rock Hill office. Workers are instructed to remove signs in the right-of-way area beside streets if the sign poses a visibility problem for drivers or pedestrians, McCarter said.

On Ebinport Road, the right-of-way extends at least 25 feet from the road.

While officials don’t use a tape measure to decide if signs are too close to the road, McCarter said, signs are removed when there’s a safety issue or if multiple complaints are filed about signs within DOT jurisdiction. McCarter was not aware of any complaints about Anderko’s signs on Wednesday.

Anderko said he and other neighbors put in about $150 to pay for the pink and green “Fix Ebinport” signs. Other yard signs with a similar message were homemade. Only two signs were still up on Wednesday.

The group plans to replace their signs, Anderko said, and pass out as many as 300 fliers to residents later this week. The fliers encourage Ebinport Road residents to call local and state officials and urge them to find money for complete road repairs.

Anna Douglas •  803-329-4068

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