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Homeowners: N.C. 98 Bypass paving their way to lower property values

Posted April 30, 2008

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— The extension of the N.C. Highway 98 bypass near Wakefield is unsettling to some Wake County residents, who say the connection between U.S. Highway 1 and Thomson Mill Road is too close to their homes.

"It's very, very close to us – very, very close to us," Merri Beth Alexander said.

Alexander said she picked her house lot in June 2006. Her builder, she said, never told her about the bypass.

"I don't recall signing anything, any forewarning, nothing," she said.

Work on the bypass began in the early 1990s, and the builder said all homeowners were required to sign a disclosure statement.

"We have an obligation as a department to plan for any development, business, that is either in place or that we know of, that there is record of, that is going to happen," said Dennis Jernigan, an engineer with the state Department of Transportation.

That means only development that existed, or was on record, in 1996 was considered in the planning.

Because there are so many concerns over the bypass project now, however, the DOT held an information session Tuesday night.

"Why does it appear that there is no coordination or master planning?" one person asked.

That is because these plans were finalized more than a decade ago, a DOT spokesperson replied.

Homeowners voiced concerns about the road being too close, about possible noise and about their property values going down.

“If you build as a developer or property owner after the date of public record, then we’re not allowed to spend federal or state dollars to build a noise buffer,” said Wally Bowman, another DOT engineer told WRAL earlier this month.

A DOT spokesperson said homeowners who live by the bypass can ask for landscaping to block the road out. A decision on each lot will be made on case-by-case basis.

The proposed 1.5-mile extension is expected to be completed in 2010.


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  • jsfried1 May 1, 2008

    Also -- you may think Wakefield residents are all rich and snobs. Maybe some are, I know some aren't. I'm sure some non-Wakefield residents of this lovely area are snobs as well. AND I'm sure most are not from my experience. C'mon, let's all learn to live together in this diverse area. I try to teach my children not to focus on who has more money than who and nicer car (I drive a beatup saturn with 128k miles) and who has the newest clothes and biggest home. It's all relative. I do not look at someone who makes more money than me and sneer and root for their downfall. To each his own and health and happiness to all of us in all walks of life :-)

  • jsfried1 May 1, 2008

    This thread is revealing. I am a Wakefield resident. I have my opinions about 98 bypass project; they appear to be very different to what many of the native folks may expect. From what I've heard/read the bypass will have tremendous advantages for commuters. I WELCOME this. Pls note: Neither my realtor nor builder said a word. Pulte said 'buy on this lot, you will have trees, privacy and don't have to worry about building behind you'. That was 12/06. I agree with many of you -- I should have checked with the town. I thought I did my homework but was not complete. I simply wish the builder had been upfront about what they knew. I'll Live and learn. But I have to take many of you to task. Be upset at the builders/local govt for 'roaches' coming in. Your pathetic nastiness and pleasure at the impact is full of ill-will and I've only seen the better side up close. You're better than this. Didn't you learn in school? Love all people.

  • denverbob234 Apr 30, 2008

    The plans have been in place for 12 years, maybe they should have checked for changes to the properties adjoining theirs before they bought. It is public record, too bad, so sad, for them that is. They could definately afford some property value loss. Those properties are way over-inflated. Those people don't even know what is directly under their feet. Only us long time locals remember what used to be there. You have to go back quite a while to know what that property used to be. Or you could just dig down a few feet and see what you find. You may be surprised. Most people would not even know what they dug up, if they find some of it.

  • Nobody but Carolina Apr 30, 2008


    That's a good thing to keep in mind right there, but also you might be able to depending on how much development is around there so they couldn't do something wierd, which is the fortune I have being at the edge of a subdivision, but other neighborhoods are already developed and completed where I am.

  • keepitreal Apr 30, 2008

    I bought years ago along the edge of the subdivision, nicely wooded area owned by the city of Raleigh, not much room for anything. Turned into a 2nd entrance with traffic light. Moved 2 years ago to the absolute middle of my current subdivision. The only thing around me for several hundred yards is my neighbors.

  • Sopranos Justice Apr 30, 2008

    "Nobody told him until after he signed the deed that the property had been condemned and their were back taxes on it"

    That is what a title search is for...your friend is no smarter than those whining about the bypass...

    Those near this bypass remember that in the long run, their property values will increase because of this bypass due to better infrastructure. Look at the Knightdale bypass as a prime example...when the real estate market stabilizes, I sure would much rather have it near me than than not (well except for those who have it in their backyard...)

  • christopherwknox Apr 30, 2008

    I blame the homeowners. It's their fault for not looking into what is going to be built. All that info is available to the public you just have to do your homework. Blaming the builder is an easy excuse. The news of a 98 bypass was probably covered by this news channel during the planning stages. Do your research before you spend the money on a new house. Don't blame others for your ignorance!!!

  • foetine Apr 30, 2008

    Wake County needs to come up with a better system for real estate and future planning. I met a guy the other day who bought a house that he was going to flip. Nobody told him until after he signed the deed that the property had been condemned and their were back taxes on it. We live in world of computerized databases. This info should be pretty easy. Person goes online to look up the property, you should have a quick map that lets you know of future DOT projects in the area.

    Far as the people in Wakefield go - That's what you get for not asking enough questions. For having zero curiosity about what's going on in the area when you moved here. You had a decade to know that this was happening.

    Sorry if your property values are going to drop, but nobody promises increases. Buyer Beware - shame you didn't learn that lesson in school.

  • Frank Downtown Apr 30, 2008

    Sorry but it happens to alot of use in growing commmunities. Its time to move when that happens. I think about the people who use to live the the boomdocks then 540 was built and in a matter of years they are surrounded by apartments and shopping centers!

  • Nobody but Carolina Apr 30, 2008

    "Oh ok missed your first post there NbC LOL Sorry"

    That's okay, I do that sometimes too. heh heh