Local community wants roadway problem smoothed over

Murdock Rd. in north Columbia was only paved partway last year, leaving Ernestine Holmes and others who live on the road to question why.

COLUMBIA (WACH) -- People in one north Columbia community drive a road each day that is half paved and half gravel. They say the county paved their road but didn't finish the job.

Ernestine Holmes has been living on Murdock Rd. for more than 20 years, and for most of that time, it has been a gravel road.

"The dust was terrible," said Holmes. "The cars just fly down the road, and the dust just come right at you."

The road was paved last year after residents got together and petitioned the county.

"Maybe four or five years ago we did a petition, and it took this long to get our road paved," said Holmes.

But the road was only paved partway, leaving Arsene Dorcius and others who live on the road to question why.

"We see them coming, they start work, and so we thought they was going to pave the whole road," said Dorcius. "Low and behold, they paved so much of it, and the rest of it stayed unpaved. So as neighbors, we're wondering about that."

Holmes says she thinks it has to do with the name of the road. The portion left unpaved was originally called Levoy St. Holmes says the neighbors included in their petition a request to have the entire road named Murdock to ensure the entire road would be paved.

"That was a condition of getting our road paved -- if it was all one thing," said Holmes. "If it was all Murdock, then we would have a better chance of getting our road paved."

The road sign was changed to Murdock, but on maps it was left as Levoy. Neighbors say construction ended in late 2012 with the Levoy segment of the road left as gravel and the shoulders of the road left bare.

"They scraped it up, but they never put any grass back and just left the shoulders like that," said Holmes. "I didn't think that was right."

Since Murdock Rd. is controlled by the county, WACH FOX spoke with Councilman Torrey Rush, who represents the district of Richland County that contains the road. He declined to interview on camera, but said he hadn't known about the problem until WACH FOX contacted him and that he was looking into solutions and answers to why the road was left only partially paved.

Councilman Rush is newly elected to his position and says he is anxious to get in touch with the neighbors living on Murdock Rd.

WACH FOX News will check back in with the Murdock Rd. community to find out what solutions they come to.