Local News

Study Shows N.C. Neglects Its Roads

Posted November 4, 1998

— A new study indicates that North Carolina is neglecting its roads. The study by the Surface Transportation Policy Project shows the Department of Transportation spends 84 percent of its federal funds on building new roads and only 16 percent repairing existing ones.

"We need more money to maintain our roads," D.O.T. maintenance engineer David Allsbrook said.

D.O.T. Maintenance Engineers say there is just not enough money to go around.

"We have a backlog that we try to address," Allsbrook said. "Of course, we're limited to the amount of funding we receive each year and that limits us to how much work we can actually do."

However, that explanation does little to alleviate the frustrations of motorists who are sick of potholes.

"It's very bad when you have to be careful just driving down the street," motorist Mark Anderson said. "You might damage a four or five hundred dollar rim just because the street has a lot of potholes."

"It really makes you feel like your tires are getting a lot of damage and your alignment on your car and everything," motorist Mary McDonald said.

The study also shows car owners are paying the price of this road neglect. While about $60 million was spent on urban highway repairs last year, drivers in the Tar Heel state spent more than twice that much to repair their cars.

"They tear up the rims. They knock the car out of alignment," mechanic Chet Nedwidek said. "They can do a lot of damage really quick."

What should motorists do when encountering a pothole?

  • First, it is good to leave a little extra space between you and the car in front of you, so you have time to avoid the pothole if possible.
  • Second, give the D.O.T. a call. The number is1-877-DOT-4YOU.Transportation officials say they often only know about a pothole if someone calls and tells them.

    So in which North Carolina cities are you most likely to run into pothole trouble?

    Asheville has more rough roads and spends less on repair than anyone else. Fayetteville is second. Despite the highest spending rate in the state, Charlotte's roads rank as the third worst. The Triangle finishes fourth.

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