YORK -- City seals, a source of pride in York since being installed at two major intersections, have been severely damaged by road crews working on S.C. 5 due to a communication breakdown between city officials and the S.C. Department of Transportation.
"That was a case of one group not knowing what the other group was doing," said John Huskins, resident construction engineer for the DOT.
The giant seals were part of a $200,000 beautification project paid for by a DOT grant. The 20-foot teal and white seals were made of plastic material melted into the asphalt at the intersections of Liberty and Congress streets and Liberty and Roosevelt streets.
Both seals were damaged during recent construction and now the state will foot the bill to replace them.
Huskins said "a miscommunication" led to the conflict.
The DOT's $12 million York County Repavement Program called for grinding and repaving on S.C. 5. Two-inch deep grinding and subsequent repaving to fix potholes have completely removed the seal placed on Liberty and Roosevelt streets.
Charles Helms, interim city manager and director of Public Works for York, said construction stopped before Congress Street, but the second seal also will need to be replaced because of damage done by paving machines and asphalt trucks.
Huskins said no one with the DOT knew the seals would be in place before they began repaving S.C. 5. He said the beautification grant was approved without his department's knowledge of exactly what the plan entailed.
Helms said they learned of the repair work a little too late.
He said York officials were notified of the repavement program on Aug. 18, nearly a month after the seals were put in place. They also weren't informed when construction would ensue because Liberty Street is state-owned and York doesn't control its construction plans, Helms said.
"If we would have known about (the construction), we would have never put the seals down," Helms said.
Mayor Eddie Lee said the seals will be replaced, but also noted the construction has caused transportation problems.
"They told (Helms) and he told them to do it carefully," Lee said, "and they have to put the seals back. It has caused a disruption and we told them they need to minimize that disruption."
The state hasn't established a price tag or timetable for replacing the seals, Huskins said.