Lexington County Council is threatening to leave dirt roads unpaved if landowners refuse to provide slivers needed to improve the largely rural routes.
Council members are looking at setting a nine-month limit for acquisition of the frontage before shelving projects entangled by delays and moving to others.
Hold-outs could postpone paving some road indefinitely, councilman Todd Cullum of Cayce said.
Setting a limit for turning over road frontage could cause neighbors to make this (paving) happen, county engineer Randy Edwards said.
The new approach stems from frustration at long-standing rebuffs that stalled paving four roads for months. Similar stalemates elsewhere could add five more.
Those deadlocks are making council member inclined to set aside the projects and proceed to improving other roads.
Up to five miles of dirt roads usually are paved each year.
Donations of small pieces of frontage along the roads typically are needed to widen a road for paving and improve drainage.
County officials could go to court to obtain the frontage. But thats a lengthy and costly step, taking away money from paving and generating political ill will.
Unanimous agreement among neighbors isnt necessary to nominate a road for paving, a request that often faces a wait of at least 10 years.
More than 300 requests are pending, with roads ranked by factors such as number of residents affected, traffic and proximity to schools (see a list at the end of this story).
Refusal of some landowners to chip in frontage stems from concerns that paving erases the rural lifestyle preferred and invites more traffic.
Paving plans will be put in limbo only after council members meet with neighbors in a final attempt to resolves disputes.
Its possible that portions of roads will be paved as a compromise instead of longer lengths originally requested, Cullum said.
Doing that will depend on how much frontage is available, he said.
Lexington County road paving priorities
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