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Johnston Planners Try To Get Roads Back On Right Track

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JOHNSTON COUNTY, N.C. — People who live on roads that are not up to state standards know the drawbacks -- no snowplowing, no debris cleanup and sometimes no school bus service. In Johnston County, planners are trying to get more roads up to speed.

If you buy a home in Johnston County, the road can often get a little rough, but county planners are working on a solution. Homeowner Dawn Graham said the roads are starting to take a toll on her.

"That's why I moved here, to get a more country feel. I like it here, but you know, as I live here now when the baby's sleeping and I have to go bumpity bump with my jeep over it, it's trying and I wish, you know, they would pave it," she said.

Johnston planners say 75 subdivisions have roads that are not up to state standards. At Waverly Point, school buses are not allowed on the roads. Engineers have questions about pavement strength and stormwater runoff, which is one reason that county planners are being pushed to develop stricter road rules.

"We are trying to be the stewards, the eyes and ears for 133,000 to 135,000 people in this county who do not attend every planning board meeting or show up in our office every day," planning director Steven Finn said.

Planners now want developers to bring their roads up to state standards before people move in. The idea passed the planning board unanimously, and it is on its way to county commissioners.

Even without the stricter rules in place, Sunland Development is trying to improve Waverly Point and fix the stormwater runoff problem. The new rules will not help homeowners in existing developments, but planners say they are working on that issue next.

Under the Johnston County plan, developers who do not bring their roads up to standards would have their building permits withheld.


Ed Wilson


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