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Developers Bypassing DOT to Build New Roads

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WAKE FOREST — With the state way behind in paying for new road construction, many Triangle developers are getting into the road building business.

Imagine nearly four miles of new road -- some five lanes wide -- with curbs and gutters. It is another big project for the DOT, right? Wrong.

Developer Andy Ammons is turning an old dairy farm into Heritage Wake Forest -- a development with 2,200 homes, a golf course and a swim and tennis club.

Ammons is putting up $8 million of his own money to build all of the roads into and through his project.

"If you wait on the state and all to do their thing, you'll be going in reverse sometimes, I think " says Ammons. "Unless we're able to get ahead of the curve, and unless we're able to take things into our own hands and be proactive with them, the problems will continue to grow."

The DOT says what Ammons is doing is a sign of the times.

The state is years behind in funding new road construction. If Ammons waited for the state to build the roads, his project would still be on the drawing board.

The DOT says more and more developers are taking road building into their own hands.

While Wake Forest gains a road system, it wil lose the Forestville Road Crossing when the new development is finished. The DOT's decision upset some people in the area, but long-term, the DOT says a new crossing will be safer.

With rapid growth and a tightening state budget, many developers are finding out that paying up for their own roads is the only way to make the grade.

The DOT inspects roads built by private developers. If the road meet the standards, they are declared public roads and are accepted into the state system.


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