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DOT Comes Up With Earthy Solution To Dangerous Curve

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Dillard Drive Berm
WAKE COUNTY, N.C. — Many people want traffic lights, guardrails or speed bumps to make their neighborhoods safer. One Wake County family hopes the Department of Transportation's earthy solution will prevent future traffic accidents.

Melanie Edwards lives on a sharp curve on Dillard Drive near Tryon Road. Six times over the last six years, drivers wrecked in the curve and landed in her yard.

Last March, she used her rescue-squad training to treat a wreck victim.

"He said: 'Gosh, I'm so glad you guys are here,'" she said. "'Where did you come from?' I informed him: 'Well, you're in my yard.'"

Three months later, a pick-up truck hit her pine tree. Again, Edwards was the first responder.

"Unfortunately, I couldn't help anybody because everybody was trapped inside the vehicle," she said.

One person died in that accident, and Edwards had had enough.

"The morning of the last accident, I made a phone call and kind of prepared them (DOT officials) that we were a little upset," she said, "that we were really wanting them to come through with what we had discussed. Within a few days, we were signing paperwork."

The paperwork allowed the DOT to build a brand new berm -- a wall or mound of dirt -- on Edwards' property. Edwards said she has four reasons why her husband and she wanted to feel safer in their home: their quadruplets.

"I think we feel a whole lot safer as a family," she said. "Hopefully, cars will now hit the dirt instead of our fence and trees."

Drew Edwards, Melanie's husband, said he is not sure what will happen when a car hits the berm.

"I think it's steep enough that cars won't jump it," he said. "But I think we've just got to wait and see actually what the impact is going to be when a car hits it."

DOT engineers said they used excess dirt from road-widening projects to make the Edwards' berm, which kept the project's cost low.



Mark Roberts, Reporter
Terry Cantrell, Photographer
Kamal Wallace, Web Editor

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