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DOT Resolves Paving Dispute With Raleigh Residents

Posted January 7, 2008
Updated January 16, 2008

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— The state Department of Transportation agreed to repave streets in a Raleigh subdivision after residents petitioned state lawmakers.

The residents wanted legislators to intervene in a plan that the DOT calls a cost-effective option to repaving roads in low-traffic areas.

Ten weeks ago, the DOT resurfaced roads in the Wood Valley subdivision off Norwood Road with asphalt and gravel. Residents were concerned that the new road surface would reduce home values and pose health risks.

"I'm astounded they're using this," said resident Wade Ponder, an environmental expert who retired last week after 36 years of working with the Environmental Protection Agency.

Ponder said prolonged exposure to dust from the road surface could increase the risk for respiratory and heart problems and can lead to premature death.

Citing their concerns, Wood Valley residents collected nearly 500 signatures and submitted them to state Rep. Marilyn Avila, R-Wake, and Sen. Neal Hunt, R-Wake, on Monday. The petition that residents signed calls for the standards of subdivision pavement to be higher than those of rural county roads.

The DOT said it was unaware of potential health risks and said the surfacing is a viable option for low-traffic areas that will be used more in the future. Suitable roads include those with light to moderate cracking and those with lower average daily traffic and light truck traffic.

In an e-mail to Avila, the DOT said it has used the same pavement treatment for many years with "great results in both quality and aesthetics."

Avila said she thinks the DOT's criteria for using the alternative surface treatment should be reconsidered.

"It may be a good paving procedure or method, but not in that area," she said. "Somebody is going to have to pay for this savings, and it's not going to be the state of North Carolina and DOT. I have a feeling, unfortunately, it's going to be our taxpayers."

DOT engineers said they would fix the problem and repave the streets this spring. Engineers said they haven't decided what type of surface they will use.


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  • fury54 Jan 8, 2008

    If I'm not mistaked, this is the same stuff they used on Hwy 301 between Rocky Mount and the Nash/Wilson County line. I wouldn't consider this a low traffic area.

  • mike275132 Jan 8, 2008

    Let's go back to dirt roads and horses and outhouses. This solves water problem and gas problem Nothin like "the Good Roads" state.

  • ohmygosh Jan 8, 2008

    If it hurts, don't do it. Personal responsibility please.

  • Bob Sidel Jan 8, 2008

    I was riding my ten speed in that subdivision with my spandex shorts on and gravel kept flying up and hitting me in me groin area. I may need to be involved in the court case if it comes to that.

  • onyourheels2 Jan 8, 2008

    just when you think that you've heard everything.

  • ohmygosh Jan 8, 2008

    People. A lot of you have to get out of the city more. There are great big open spaces out there that are not paved over with asphalt.

    Many of us would be happy to have NCDOT adopt our subdivision roads and pave it with this stuff.

    If you've never lived on a "subdivision maintained road" you can't possibly understand that the phrase is an oxymoron.
    It really means "nobody maintains".

  • bkstate928 Jan 8, 2008

    First of all, the asphalt treatment they used is the same stuff they used for decades. Its proven to be sufficient for low traffic areas, such as subdivisions. The DOT does not cater to those who feel like they deserve something better just because they paid too much for a plot of dirt, bricks and shingles.

    Secondly, its absurd to be trying to justify letting your kids play in the road. Thats dangerous and not the purpose at all.

    Also, subdivisions are not built by DOT. They are built by developers that make millions from these huge neighborhoods. The roads are petitioned and then forced upon DOT to maintain. Which in a county like Wake, these roads, individually, carry 10% of the traffic and take up 90% of the resources. If you feel like DOT has more important things to spend already scarce public funds on than you'll understand.

    Please just leave DOT alone so they can do their jobs.

  • Boogereater Jan 8, 2008

    Deal with it! P^$$!&$

  • RWC Jan 8, 2008

    Don't those people from up north know that we all have gravel roads in the south?

  • RWC Jan 8, 2008

    Problem with these roads is when you drive your expensive Lexus or Mercedes on it, you have to hear and feel tire noise from the irregular surface! Man, if I could afford one of those cars, I certainly would not live in that subdivision.