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Ridge Road

Spartanburg Town Celebrates End of Gully Problems


The town of Wellford, South Carolina, in Spartanburg County was a small speck on the map with a huge problem. With a population of just over 2,000 residents, Mayor Sallie Peake was very concerned about the safety of the residents. She contacted NRCS and the local district for assistance with a dangerous gully. Located on the narrow Ridge Road, a highly traveled asphalt road, the gully posed an imminent threat to life and property. Ridge Road is also a major route for school buses going to the local elementary school. Furthermore, the impact went beyond that of the nearby homes and travelers along Ridge Road. Water quality was also greatly impaired in the North Tyger Reservoir, just a few miles downstream of the gully. The 300-foot gully, which measured 20-feet deep and 25-feet wide was two feet off the edge of the paved road. When NRCS engineers visited the site, they declared it a serious hazard to local residents.
“When we first visited the site, we realized how serious the problem was, and that something had to be done immediately to protect local citizens and safeguard the nearby Tyger River from sediment pollution,” stated Foothills RC&D Coordinator Dave Demarest.
The first step in the process involved an active campaign to raise money to fund the project. Funding was secured from four sources including the City of Wellford, Spartanburg County Transportation Committee, State Representative Joe Mahaffey, and the Startex-Jackson-Wellford-Duncan (SJWD) Water District totaling $75,000.
Construction began on October 25, 2003. NRCS Civil Engineering Technician Wayne Henderson said, “Fifty-two dump truck loads of debris were taken from the gully.” Also, over 3,000 cubic yards of red clay were used to fill in the gully. Kathy Hodges, NRCS soil conservation technician was also a major player in the construction and inspection end of the project, and NRCS Field Engineer Scott Glenn designed the structures that alleviated the problem. Spartanburg NRCS District Conservationist Charles Banks said the project is a great asset to the Wellford community. “This is a great advancement for Wellford and its citizens because they can now rest easily knowing that their property and lives are protected,” said Banks. Construction was completed on November 4th and project partners and local citizens celebrated the accomplishment on November 21st with a ceremony.
Partners involved in the project included Spartanburg SWCD, NRCS, Foothills RC&D Council, City of Wellford, Spartanburg County, and State Representative Joe Mahaffey.