It’s a half mile road leading hundreds of drivers to their homes, but the hunt for who’s responsible took more turns than the road itself.
Rivers Reach Drive was built in the 80’s to connect one neighborhood to Clements Ferry. Since that time, more neighborhoods have popped up on the skinny road. The traffic has homeowner David Largent worried.
“It’s narrow,” he explained to Count on 2’s Rebecca Collett. “It’s not marked. There are deep ruts on each side.”
Largent started questioning his representative at the Berkeley County Council about the upkeep, and he called the County with his questions. He told News 2 no one was able to answer them. He had hit a dead end.
“No one seems to be concerned about this road,” he said.
A spokesperson for Berkeley County initially told News 2 the road belonged to Homes Unlimited of Charleston INC. When we looked up the company, we discovered it dissolved in 2008. Upon a second round of questioning, the County said the City of Charleston annexed the road, including nearly 7,000 acres.
“The City of Charleston allowed the Peninsula development to access the roadway, cut the roadway, and tear up the roadway without any coordination with Berkeley County,” a statement read. “Therefore, WE (County), considering the annexation and encroachments, abandoned any and all interest we had in the roadway and took the position it is the City of Charleston’s roadway up to St. Thomas Point,” the statement continued.
With this discovery, we took our questions to the City of Charleston.
The City’s Deputy Director of Public Services, Mike Metzler, told News 2 the road is in better shape than many in the city. But during the months of our investigation into the road, the city discovered something unique about it.
When the city approved annexation in 1995, the road was specifically excluded, Metzler told News 2.
That’s not a common practice and usually only happens for one of two reasons. The first is if the road was private, and the owner didn’t want to make it public. The second scenario happens if the road didn’t meet city specifications, and the owner didn’t want to bring it up to codes.
In this situation, there are no records to indicate why it wasn’t annexed at the time, according to Metzler.
City records indicate builder D.R. Horton owns the road.
When News 2 reached out to them , the story took another turn.
According to D.R. Horton, they aren’t responsible for the road and never were.
“River Reach Drive was not built by nor annexed to D.R. Horton. D.R. Horton developed The Peninsula from 2001 to 2006, and it is one of several communities located off River Reach Drive,” a statement read. “D.R. Horton expanded The Peninsula to the other side of River Reach Drive, at which point we resurfaced the road per the city’s request during the annexation and permitting process of the land.”
For now, the City of Charleston legal department is communicating with D.R. Horton to see if they have records to compare. Before any work can be done to patch ruts or re-stripe, the legal owner will have to be identified.