Local News

Durham County Family Waits 35 Years For Eno Loop Road Decision

Posted September 6, 1998

— A lot of people get upset at the roads on Labor Day. But, one Durham County family says it has been held hostage for 35 years by a road that has not even been built yet.

"We have been held in limbo for 35 years on this piece of property," said landowner Mary Wilson.

Walk through the 67 acre farm with the Wilsons, and you don't think of being in limbo. But, it is limbo. A northern loop to ease inner city traffic congestion was first discussed in the 1960's. Since then, lawsuits, local leaders and land battles have prevented agreement on where to put it.

However, nearly every option puts the proposed Eno Drive Loop right through Mary Wilson's family farm. The state won't buy it until the route is finalized, and the family can't sell it with a highway planned to cut right through it.

"I fail to understand why Durham can't come to some type of consensus. The special interest groups, something needs to supercede them," said Wilson.

A family held in limbo is one thing, but the loop is supposed to help lots of people like the those who use the busy streets in northern Durham. Streets that almost everyone agrees will only get busier.

The Wilsons say they understand progress and are willing to let the old farm go. They just want a decision.

"I want anything besides being in limbo," explained Wilson. "The way my grandfather used to say it, use the pot or get off of it."

A joint city-county committee working on plans for the Eno Loop meets later this month. The group is still divided over what route the loop should take.

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