Construction Scares Away Business At Wake County Golf Course

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Golf and heavy equipment do not really go together. A Wake County golf course is dealing with the pains of construction on Interstate 540.

Crews shut down Old Milburnie Road, the main entrance to Wil-Mar Golf Course, so you have to take a winding two-mile detour to get to the course. Owner Fran Wilkerson said one golf foursome had a little trouble negotiating the detour.

"They drove up, crossed the construction barriers, waved to the guys on the bulldozers, drove straight across the construction site, came up on Old Milburnie the old way, so they had an adventure," owner Fran Wilkerson said.

The barriers have stopped some customers in their tracks. Others said it is a tough road course to follow.

"Honestly, I thought it was a hassle to get around it," golfer John Stanhope said. "Most people don't want to go all around and come through the detour."

State Department of Transportation engineers said they do not deny taking a divot out of golf course profits, but things will get easier by October 2005.

"Without question, they'll reap the benefits when this project is completed, but there is going to be some growing pains during that process," DOT engineer Reece Briley said.

Wil-Mar Golf Course has taken out newspaper ads and have put up their own detour signs. Now, they just hope their bottom line holds up until the construction is finished.

"What can you do? You either have a good sense of humor about it and you try to survive, or you get angry and it doesn't do any good," Wilkerson said.

If you are headed for Wil-Mar Golf Course, take Old Milburnie off of U.S. Highway 64 and keep following the detour signs. You can also get there on Forestville Road by following the detour markers.