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Neighborhood not welcoming Highway 98 Bypass extension

The extension of the Highway 98 bypass is causing controversy in Wake County, with residents on two streets saying the road is much too close to their homes.

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RALEIGH, N.C. — The extension of the Highway 98 bypass near Wakefield is causing controversy in Wake County, with residents on two streets saying the road is much too close to their homes.
The road currently ends at US Highway 1. The extension would connect US 1 to Thomson Mill Road and eventually link to Old Highway 98. The proposed 1.5-mile extension is expected to be completed in 2010.

Neighbors are concerned about declining property values and their quality of life.

Lenore and Richard Ziff moved into the Wakefield Plantation neighborhoods 2½ years ago.

The Ziffs said they were notified about a road, but said representatives were “less than forthright” about the kind of road that would be built and how close it would be to the homes. The Ziffs said the builder, Pulte Homes, didn’t offer details.

Sheryle L. Kursar of Pulte Homes said in a statement to WRAL-TV that all homeowners signed a full disclosure agreement.

“Each homeowner signed an addendum to their contracts acknowledging their understanding that the bypass was going to be built,” Kursar said.

Kursar said that when Pulte Homes purchased the home sites in September 2004, the project was already approved. Homeowners were given the contact information for the state Department of Transportation so they could stay updated on the progress of the road. The bypass at that time was public record, she said.

Lenore Ziff said a lot of people “did not expect a major highway.”

“Seems to me the road’s going to be in my back yard pretty much,” Lenore Ziff said of the road that will be the last leg of the 98 bypass.

The Ziffs are concerned about the proximity of the road to their home and the possible noise. Lenore Ziff added that some foliage would be helpful to prevent them from looking at an “ugly wall.”

The noise may be a problem for some residents.

“If you build as a developer or property owner after the date of public record, then we’re not allowed to spend federal state dollars to build a noise buffer,” said Wally Bowman, an engineer with the Department of Transportation.

The DOT bought the right of way more than 12 years ago, before the homes on Basketweave Drive were built.

DOT officials plan to meet with neighbors later this month.

While some residents are putting up for-sale signs, the Ziffs say they’ll try to live with the bypass.

“It’s just sad, because everybody is really unhappy,” Lenore Ziff said.