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Cumberland Residents Feel Out of the Loop on Road Construction

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FAYETTEVILLE — Disgruntled motorists in Cumberland County lashed out at state transportation leaders Wednesday night.

Department of Transportationrepresentatives were inFayettevilleto hear what people think of redrawn road construction plans.

Construction on the Fayetteville outer loop was supposed to begin years ago, but it has been delayed time and time again.

The delays have many Cumberland County motorists at their wits' end. That is why almost 100 residents, along with county and city leaders, gave DOT representatives an earful.

"Is it a political decision that dollars may go to Raleigh or Charlotte because of whatever those reasons," Hope Mills resident Bill Speight said. "But it's obvious the transportation system in Fayetteville is way beyond its time."

Residents were especially angry that major projects -- such as the much talked about Fayetteville outer loop and the Hope Mills bypass -- have been slowed down and delayed once again.

"We've not been getting the roads built in an orderly fashion that we need here in Cumberland County," says Talmage Baggett, a Cumberland County commissioner. "It's been take a number, wait and step to the back of the line."

D0T officials on hand admitted that the Cumberland County area has been neglected for at least the past decade. However, they say they are trying to make up for what happened, and that new laws will keep it from happening again.

"We do have approximately 120 percent of our budget allocated over the next seven years, and this extra percentage is intended to make up for prior year indiscretions," says Lyndo Tippett, a DOT board member.

DOT representatives promised that the major road projects will be completed as quickly as financially possible.

The revised road construction plan is scheduled to be voted on this summer, after the DOT holds a series of similar meetings across the state.

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John McDonnell, Reporter
Doug Bricker, Photographer
Jason Darwin, Web Editor

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