Damaged bridge is only way out of Fayetteville neighborhood

Posted October 12, 2016 7:00 p.m. EDT

— A washed out road in Fayetteville has cut off an entire neighborhood and residents say they have previously told the city it could happen.

Siple Avenue used to be the only safe way to get in or out of the Rayconda subdivision, but flood water from Hurricane Matthew has changed that.

“Mother Nature came and she just finished the rest for us and we just basically had to do what we did not want to do and that was open this private road that belongs to Rayconda,” said Homeowners Association President Freddy Rivera.

The state shut down Rayconda Parkway two years ago because they deemed it unsafe. Following Hurricane Matthew, the community had to reopen the road to get in and out of their neighborhood.

There are more than 200 homes in the community and a sign warns residents to cross the dam at their own risk. They cross one vehicle at a time.

“People are still driving on it. There are people walking on it. If that bridge goes, somebody’s going to die. It’s scary,” said resident Tracey Graham.

A big chunk of the dam is gone but residents have no choice. If they want to leave the neighborhood, they have to hike or drive across it.

“It’s dangerous to come across that bridge. I don’t want to bring my vehicles across that bridge and a lot of us have all been having to park over here and it’s tearing up this side of our community too,” said resident Betsy Gains.

Late Wednesday afternoon, city engineers inspected the dam on Rayconda Parkway and said it would be safe as long as vehicles traveled one at a time, which is not very reassuring for folks who have to make the trip.

“What it’s done is put them under an extreme level of stress,” Rivera said.