Local News

Residents near proposed Wake Tech campus say gravel road is the pits

Posted May 27, 2008
Updated May 28, 2008

— Plans to build a new Wake Tech campus in western Wake County is causing controversy.

The proposed 76-acre site is off Chapel Hill Road and includes plans for shops and restaurants. The problem lies with Watkins Road – a small, gravel road next to the campus site.

It would need to be paved, and neighbors are split on that proposition – or at least on how it would be implemented.

"You can see the dust flying across the field. I wouldn't have to dust my house as often,” Susan Watkins said about paving Watkins Road.

Watkins and some others who live on the road want it paved. Wake Tech's campus would increase vehicle traffic, and the school's proposal calls for Watkins Road to be turned into a four-lane, paved road.

The road to paving may not be smooth, however.

Peggy Medlin and her family own land that borders both sides of Watkins Road. She said her family isn't willing to give up the road, at least not for free.

"If they are willing to pay for it, we would sell, because I know progress is coming and they need it,” Medlin added.

Medlin objected to the plan at a public hearing on the proposal Tuesday night, though. Other neighboring property owners stepped up in support.

Wake Tech officials said that if the proposal gets approved, the road will be paved.

"At some point in time, whether (or not) it's done by eminent domain, which we would prefer not to, the right of way will be required and someone will probably have to pay for it,” Morton Congleton, with Wake Tech Community College said.

The Morrisville Board of Commissioners is expected to vote on the project next month. A bond approved by Wake County voters will cover the cost of the land. There has been no money set aside yet for construction.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • hollylama May 28, 2008

    Gotta love imminent domain!

  • smitty May 28, 2008

    Some residents fought this road getting paved several years ago and won. They didn't want the associated traffic increase.

    Now that it will be widened too and they may get some money out of it they may change their tune.

  • Tax Man May 28, 2008

    I will be happy to see this road paved. If the plan is passed, the property owners will be offered a fair market price for the strip of land that is needed for the road expansion. If they agree and sign the deed they will get the check, if not, the school/city/county/DOT will initiate eminent domain proceedings and will "take" the land, but still paying the fair market value. Better for the property owner to get their own appraisal and negotiate the sale amount, otherwise they will spend extra legal fees trying to get their price. Looking forward to having Wake Tech in my backyard!

  • superman May 28, 2008

    Wake Tech needs another campus. NC State needs another campus too. Maybe in Chapel Hill! Why do they need another campus. How can they afford another campus with a library and another buillding full of administrators? People in that area could easily go to Durham Tech, Granville Tech. Just a good example of empire building. Every person in Wake County should be within walking distance of an educational facility. Tax payers should realize that they paying for wasted facilities. Duplication-- duplication-- duplication.

  • Adelinthe May 28, 2008

    "At some point in time, whether (or not) it's done by eminent domain..."

    Yeah go ahead. Commandeer in the name of progress, instead of in emergencies only. You've done it all along with the excuse of progress. Why should this be any difference.

    BTW-For those of you who may not know, the Watkins family has owned and lived on property bordering that road for generations, hence the name of the road is Watkins Road.

    God bless.

    Rev. RB

  • haggis basher May 28, 2008

    Where is there a story here? The lady owns the land. If Wake College want to build a road on it they will have to buy it.
    Simple real estate deal, happens every day.

  • shellbelle May 28, 2008

    It all comes down to the mighty dollar.

  • nan3789 May 28, 2008

    Ok its a fricking gravel road, big deal. Im sure there are many other things worth complaining about. It a little ridiculous.

  • methinks May 28, 2008

    Why would she think they would want it for free? Dealing with government agencies on a regular basis, I know that land owners are offered money for any road expansion, right of ways, etc. So that leads me to believe that she knows they want that land and wants more money than it is worth. She will be offered fair market value, but if she turns that down, they will go through legal actions. Sad that some residents are greedy.

  • Leonardo May 28, 2008

    Seriously though...yes, we do seem to complain alot about everything. I don't know how they ever managed to get RTP or I-540 built.