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DOT Says Roadside 'Brown Out' Will Not Cost Taxpayers

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RALEIGH — The drought-like conditions are killing more than crops and yards. The lack of rain is also drying up sod laid down by state contractors along some highways.

While farmers and homeowners can total up their losses, the state says it is not wasting taxpayer money.

From up close, it looks like a neighbor's yard improvement project gone bad. In the air from the newSky5, it looks like dead, brown trails running from Wade Avenue to Cary Parkway along the median of US-1.

"You want the roads to be safer, but you want it to look good. It shouldn't be wasted money because I think a lot of times you'll have to go back and re-do things," said resident Vertina Royster.

TheDepartment of Transportationsays it will not have to re-do anything. A spokesperson says it iscentipede sodand that it usually looks brown when it is first planted.

They said it may look dead, but it is not. Bob Warburton is not the contractor on the project, but he has worked on similar projects.

"They've elected to go with a sod that is slow growing and doesn't require the moisture of other grasses. This time of the year, it probably would turn brown, but it's just due to the nature of the material they're using," said Warburton.

There is good news growing with the brown grass. It is the contractor's responsibility to replace all dead grass, but they cannot help you with the delays.

"I was trying to get out to Cary on Western Blvd. the other night. They had it completely blocked off. You couldn't take 440 to Cary, so if they're doing all this trouble and causing all this traffic over the past couple of weeks, I say it should be for a real good cause," said resident Bradley Allen.

The DOT said they used sod instead of grass because in the long run, sod is less expensive.

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Mark Roberts, Reporter
Gil Hollingsworth, Photographer
John Clark, Web Editor

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