Local News

New Interchange Raising Debate in Rural Wilson

Posted June 10, 1998

— Governor Hunt is pushing for another road project in his home county. But the DOT might put the brakes on it. A multi-million dollar interchange on I-95 is planned for a rural area in Wilson County. Nearly a hundred residents came out Wednesday night to tell state leaders just what they thought of that plan.

"I was raised, born and raised on the road and my people were raised ahead of me, grandparents, great-grandparents, and right on back," said E.T. Taylor, Jr.

Taylor has lived in a sleepy part of Wilson County all his life. He and other people in the rural area say they like things just the way they are. The last thing they want is an interchange at Hornes Church Road.

"I just don't seen any need for it," explained Taylor. "It's going to disrupt a whole laid back community that's predominantly agricultural."

Taylor says there hasn't been a for sale sign on the road for decades. He and other landowners have made a pact not to sell land to developers. So why the interchange plans? Political leaders in Wilson apparently lobbied Governor Hunt for the project.

"We just had a hard time getting the attention of the local political leaders to help us out," landowner Vanise Hardee. "We hope that by going to a state level, we can get some attention and get some help."

That help may come from transportation secretary Norris Tolson, who already scratched a Hunt-backed project in Wilson this year. Tolson says the project is possible. He just wants to hear from residents first.

"We've looked at this project from a viability standpoint," Tolson explained. "In other words, traffic count and the viability of the roads we have to build it on. (The) answer to that is yes."

Supporters of the project say the interchange would attract new business, and build the area's economy. The exit would cost between 6-8.5 million dollars.

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