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Residents take NC DOT to court over stalled NC 540 project

Posted April 30, 2012

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— Dozens of Wake County property owners were in court Monday supporting a civil lawsuit against the North Carolina Department of Transportation over stalled plans to extend the N.C. Highway 540 loop around Wake County.

The residents say the state informed them of plans to build the 14-mile stretch and possibly buy their land but that more than a decade later, the state has not done so.

Waiting, they say, has led to other missed opportunities to sell the land because of uncertainties about whether an expressway was going to be built through it.

Pat Johnson says she has missed out on selling her family's property in southeast Wake County more than once.

"We had an offer on our property back in 2002 for $9 million, and it fell through," said Johnson.

She and others say that if the state plans to buy the property, they should do so and pay them fair market value. They also want to be compensated for all of the time that has passed and the deals they've missed out on.

The state won't comment because of the lawsuit. In the past, officials have said that the land hasn't been purchased because of a lack of necessary funding.

In recent years, plans to complete the loop have been in question because of concerns about how proposed routes will affect surrounding areas.

It's not clear when the judge will rule.

16 Comments

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  • Vincent Vega May 10, 2012

    What kind of fool doesn't take the 9 mil and run?

  • rroadrunner99 May 1, 2012

    If they had a chance to sell their land and didn't, seem's to me that would be their own fault. The state of N.C. isn't stopping them from selling their land. A missed deal is because they didn't take it.

  • Zaknow May 1, 2012

    Clearly Hamma doesn't know that the revenues from the gas tax does not even cover the cost to maintain the roads in this state much less new construction! People want good roads and all other services without paying for it yet more money for education, however misspent is the answer to better schools.

  • Zaknow May 1, 2012

    There is no legitimate reason for anyone to expect compensation for a proposed anything. Sell your land if you want to sell or buy if you want to buy knowing what you know. These people are trying to be greedy and force something that they the tax payers will not fund! They are typical people that want their cake and eat it too!

  • OGE May 1, 2012

    I'd sit on the project too if every time we put forward a proposal people whined about where it's going.

  • FlySwater May 1, 2012

    Should also mention the economics of this case. When a government declares the right to cease a piece of land at FMV and says.."it could be next year or ten years from now", that type of stipulation significantly lowers fair market value.

    Prospective buyers in the private sector are not going take that kind of chance unless the price is slashed in half. The landowners should win this case. The state will be given an injunction to carry-through with the project or get off the pot.

  • FlySwater May 1, 2012

    "The state won't comment because of the lawsuit. In the past, officials have said that the land hasn't been purchased because of a lack of necessary funding."

    Ok then, with the $.50 per gallon state / federal combined tax we pay at the pump, you will never have enough funding. Drop the project.

  • LuvLivingInCary May 1, 2012

    geez...these people can't even bill the tolls correctly much less build it right.

  • pbjbeach May 1, 2012

    cam7002:
    whatcan i say but that thing of this nature that you describe as happening to these particualr landowners are just typical of the NCDOT AS THAT THEY ARE ALWAYS FIXING THINGS OF THIS NATURE TO INSURE THAT THE PEOPLE ARE ALWAYS LEFT IN THE SITUATION OF THAT THEY ARE DAMNED IF THEY DO AN DAMNED IF THEY DONT. THIS IS ALSO THE WAY THAT THEY TREAT THEIR EMPLOYEE ACROSS ALL STATE GOVERNMENT AGENCY THAT THYE PUT EMPLOYEE INTO SITUATIONS WHERE THAT THEY ARE ALSO DAMNED IF THEY DO AN DAMNED IF THEY DONT IT IS A COMPLETELY ILLOGICAL SITUATION FOR THESE EMPLOYEES TO THE POINT THAT THEY ARENT EVEN ALLOWED TO PERFORM THEIR JOBS DUTYS TO THE PROTECTION OF THE STATES TAXPAYING CITIZENS FROM FRAUD WASTE AN ABUSIVE PRACTICES AN TOTAL MIS-MANGAMENT THANK YOU

  • pbjbeach May 1, 2012

    If the powers to be would stop leting contracting enitys raid the states coffers . in the form of extraction payments from contracting enitys acorss this state by any an all means. such as unjustifiably payments to monthly estimates. along with paying two an three time for the bad non-spece work that these contractng enitys are being allowed to get away with. an being paid for the bad work that continualy is ever increasing the cost to the states taxpaying citizens by allowing them to do so an get paid for it. there are also times that the ncdot is an has allowed for payments of false claims to be paid out to contracting enitys that were totaly unjustifiable in the first place an should have never ever been allowed to have been paid for either. thank you

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