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The U.S. Postal Service has resumed regular home service to residents who live along a narrow Indian Land road it deemed too dangerous for mail delivery two months ago.
Located off Henry Harris Road, Green Pond Road is a mile-long, single-lane road that serves 31 families.
The U.S. Postal service unexpectedly suspended service there in early October following the investigation of a September accident between a mail carrier and a garbage truck on a blind curve, the second accident on the road for that mail carrier since January.
The post office safety team determined several factors combined to create conditions that were too dangerous for mail carriers, including the road’s narrow width, the lack of a posted speed limit and the delivery truck’s wide wheelbase.
Green Pond Road resident Rena Livengood said the resumption of mail service came as unexpectedly as it stopped.
“We were all just shocked,” Livengood said. “My husband called and said, ‘Guess what we got today?’ I said what? He said, ‘Mail delivery.’”
Post office spokeswoman Monica Robbs said the post office resumed home delivery to residents Thursday, Dec. 13, and on Friday sent out letters detailing how residents could send back keys to a temporary community mailbox installed at the end of the road.
Robbs said the decision to resume regular service came as a result of the county’s quick action in making road improvements requested by the post office, including posting 15-mph speed limit signs and shoring up low road shoulders in front of mailboxes.
“The county moved so quickly. As soon as we got word that they had completed those requests, we sent the safety team out there and the postmaster, and they checked it out,” Robbs said.
“Our goal always was that the customers would be able to get their mail delivery resumed by Christmas and we were glad we could meet that goal,” she said. “We thank them for their patience and their understanding; and the county was phenomenal, so we thank them, too.”
Lancaster County Administrator Steve Willis said the credit all goes to the county’s public works department and its director, Jeff Catoe.
“Granted, it’s not a public safety thing, but mail is a basic service that most citizens kind of expect,” Willis said. “Of course, that spurred them to look into it and when public works determined that we should be able to do some of the things the post office wanted, they did it.
“We’ve got a great public works department,” Willis said.
Livengood said while she’s thrilled that the post office has resumed service, she and others are still a bit stumped given the original reason for the whole affair.
“We’re happy; we’re very happy, pleasantly surprised,” Livengood said. “I just hate they had to go through all that expense of (installing a temporary box).
“The curve hasn’t changed, why wasn’t it safe two months ago?” she said. “But, whatever, we’ll take it. We’ll just wait and see what happens next.”
Reece Murphy at (803) 283-1151