Berkeley County transforming dirt, gravel roads to paved surfaces

BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – Contractors hired by the Berkeley County Transportation Committee will be paving several dirt or gravel roads within the county over the next few weeks. It’s part of the Dirt-to-Pave Program that was established by the county in 2008.

Paving the way to a better future for Berkeley County.

“The Dirt-to-Pave Program is part of the past 2014 referendum,” Berkeley County’s deputy engineer Erica Brizzee said. “Dirt-to-Pave was just one component of that where we’re taking county-maintained gravel or dirt roads and providing upgrades.”

Those upgrades include a paved road surface and drainage improvements–additions Brizzee says make these roadways more pleasant to use.

“Paving it provides a long-term solution that doesn’t need refreshing every six months to a year to two years,” she said. “The other improvement is dust control. You know, a paved road isn’t going to kick up the dust that a dirt road or gravel road does, as well the drainage that’s required to mitigate any current issues.”

The county reports that since the program’s inception in 2008, they’ve completed 65 Dirt-to-Pave projects. Recently, eight different county roads that were listed in the 2014 One-Cent Sales Tax Referendum have either already started the paving process, or will begin in the coming weeks.

“The contractor will begin with clearing and then any utility relocations that have to take place ahead of paving,” Brizzee said. “You know, it’s not just putting asphalt on the existing roadbed. There’s a lot of prep work that has to go into that.”

Officials say the 2008 and 2014 sales tax referendums have been pivotal to the continued growth of Berkeley County.

“It’s given the county back a lot of control to get some of these projects done sooner,” Brizzee said.

Another referendum was passed in November 2022 to complete even more Dirt-to-Pave projects.