Local News

Residents near proposed Wake Tech campus say gravel road is the pits

Posted May 27, 2008 11:41 p.m. EDT
Updated May 28, 2008 5:52 a.m. EDT

— Plans to build a new Wake Tech campus in western Wake County is causing controversy.

The proposed 76-acre site is off Chapel Hill Road and includes plans for shops and restaurants. The problem lies with Watkins Road – a small, gravel road next to the campus site.

It would need to be paved, and neighbors are split on that proposition – or at least on how it would be implemented.

"You can see the dust flying across the field. I wouldn't have to dust my house as often,” Susan Watkins said about paving Watkins Road.

Watkins and some others who live on the road want it paved. Wake Tech's campus would increase vehicle traffic, and the school's proposal calls for Watkins Road to be turned into a four-lane, paved road.

The road to paving may not be smooth, however.

Peggy Medlin and her family own land that borders both sides of Watkins Road. She said her family isn't willing to give up the road, at least not for free.

"If they are willing to pay for it, we would sell, because I know progress is coming and they need it,” Medlin added.

Medlin objected to the plan at a public hearing on the proposal Tuesday night, though. Other neighboring property owners stepped up in support.

Wake Tech officials said that if the proposal gets approved, the road will be paved.

"At some point in time, whether (or not) it's done by eminent domain, which we would prefer not to, the right of way will be required and someone will probably have to pay for it,” Morton Congleton, with Wake Tech Community College said.

The Morrisville Board of Commissioners is expected to vote on the project next month. A bond approved by Wake County voters will cover the cost of the land. There has been no money set aside yet for construction.