Report from Mr. T. I. Weston, County Engineer.
ACCESSIBILITY AND BEAUTY
There are Several Lakes Close by the Road and This Route is Generally Better.
Following wis the preliminary report to Supervisor Starling by T. I. Weston, county engineer, on the Columbia Camden Highway:
“In comparing the Camden and the Two-Notch roads as to the two routes available for a speedway between Columbia and Camden we have the following main points to consider:
“First, distance; second, location: third cost. The distance is not accurately known, but is approximately 32 miles for either route, the Camden road being possible a little shorter than the Two-Notch. On either route there is about 20 miles in Richland county and 12 miles in Kershaw.
“As to location from the consideration of grade, stream crossing and material for construction, the Camden road is decidedly superior to the Two-Notch. The Camden road from the city limit to Messers mill, presents no grades of consequence that could not be remedied by slight cuts and fills without a change of location. The road down the west hill at Messer mill would have to be relocated for perhaps a quarter mile in order to get a practical grade.
“Possibly one other change at the 17 mile post of about one-half mile would be all that is necessary to improve the present location. The present location avoids the heavy grades and head the streams as well as is consistent with distance. There are no stream crossings presenting any expensive obstacles and very few of any kind. Outcroppings of clay are frequent all along the route and sand is everywhere, insuring an abundance of building material.
“To make the Two-Notch road a good route, a great many radical changes would have to be made. The present route does not avoid heavy grade and climbs many hills which do not admit of practical improvement by grading. In the absence of more definite information it seems quite certain that the Two-Notch road would cost at least 30 or 40 per cent, more to reduce it to as good a grade as the Camden road.
“In addition to the above considerations the fact that the beautiful pond at Messers mill and Dent’s pond near Columbia are on the Camden road add greatly to the desirability of this route. Crystal lake or White pond at Blaney’s is between the two routes and could be as easily reached from one as the other. There is one other consideration in favor of the Camden road and that is it is paralleled by the long distance telephone line all the way.
“Before any definite idea of the cost of constructing this improved highway can be formed it will be necessary to make a careful survey of the proposed route.
“I do not know what plans the promoters of this kind of road, but I believe it has been suggested to make it 60 feet wide. I offer here as a suggestion the following plan: If the present charter does not already cover 60 feet, that at least a 60-foot right of way be obtained, and that the roadway be graded about 30 feet wide in the centre of this right of way, leaving a strip 15 feet wide on each side. The roadway proper should be laid out with correct curves and graded to a 4 or 5 per cent, maximum grade and constructed of sand and clay in a scientific manner. The 15 foot strips on each side should be cleared of all under brush in the wooded sections, and the best trees tripped and protected. In the field sections trees should be planted on these strips. All banks and cuts should be sodded with Bermuda grass to preserve them.
“It will require some cash and work to construct a highway that would be a credit to our two counties. This is the first venture of this kind so far as the writer knows that has been promoted to the present stage in this State and it is the place of every progressive citizen in not only the counties of Kershaw and Richland to support it but in the entire State. One good intercounty road will bring another.
“The construction of this road will affect a strip of property two miles wide and 30 miles long, enhancing the value of these 40,000 acres of land from 25 to 100 per cent., adding to the wealth of the two counties and the State property more than half a million dollars. It is not the few pleasure seekers who are promoting this road who will receive the greatest benefit but every property holder on the route.
“The construction of this highway should receive the moral and Financial support of every citizen in Kershaw and Richland. The success of this scheme will ensure the success of other schemes through other localities.”