MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) -- Ask anyone who drives the roads daily and they will tell you, there is a battle being waged on Highway 17 and Johnnie Dodds Boulevard.
"Construction is winning, definitely," said one driver, as he picked his hubcap up off the road.
A massive city of hard hat wearing workers and heavy, high tech gear has sprouted around the major Mount Pleasant thoroughfare. The much needed road expansion is welcome, but the mess is not.
"It's confusing, it's irritating," says Mark Kurtz with Mount Pleasant Collision. But it's also a big money maker for his business.
Mark sees at least 80 construction torn cars in his shop each month. It's packed with twisted metal, shattered glass, and bruised bumpers.
The problem though, he says, is not the extra mess on the road, but impatient drivers who don't know which way to go. He showed us a new $50,000 Audi, totaled because he says the driver failed to pay attention to construction on the road.
"And most people are just going through their own insurance companies. They're not even messing with that red tape," said Kurtz.
But Jason Wesley of Mount Pleasant is more than willing to go the extra mile. He says it's a matter of principle.
"When you realize it was something you put there that aided in causing that accident and then you accept no responsibility for that accident, that's just irresponsible," he said.
Wesley says it was raining as he made his way to the gym. He was trying to come to a stop, when he hit something he did not anticipate.
"I went to go push my brakes to slow down and get in the turning lane and as soon as I went over that plate everything just, it was like I was riding on ice," he said.
"That plate" was one of those metal construction plates. He believes its slick surface sent him sliding, right into the back of another car. His car sustained $7,000 in damage. He filed a complaint with the construction company.
"Under these circumstances we regret to inform you that we are unable to pay the claim," said Wesley as he read us the answer he got back from the company.
But Jason Wesley isn't taking no for an answer. He's taking the construction company to court.
We contacted Bank Construction. They say it's against their policy to comment on a specific claim or pending litigation.
But Safety Director Billy Grayson did issue this statement:
"As for the use of metal plates in travel lanes, we follow very strict standards set forth in the SCDOT's Standard Specifications for Highway Construction. We are held to these standards by the inspection personnel on site and would never be allowed to use anything in traffic that would present a hazard to the public, nor would we knowingly do so."
So if you have car damage you believe was caused by construction, what do you do?
It can be confusing because two separate construction companies are working on the road. Banks construction is charged with work from the Ravenel Bridge to I-526. From there to Wando High School, Gulf Stream runs the show.
Your best bet is to call the construction office at 388-6243. Someone there will direct your complaint.
In the meantime, Steven Kurtz perhaps has the best advice of all.
"Keep your wits about you when things aren't going your way. Trust me, paying your deductible is going to be a lot more painful than you being a couple minutes late."