*Article courtesy of Watauga Democrat – January 20, 2012)
Roby Greene Road focus of NCDOT's paving plan
by Kellen Moore
More than a dozen residents who live off Roby Greene Road addressed the Board of Commissioners on Tuesday, urging them to ask the N.C. Department of Transportation to prioritize repairs on the road they say has been dangerous for decades.
The community members found support among the commissioners, who pressed the DOT representatives present for commitment to fixing the road in tangible ways.
The sometimes heated exchange was part of a public hearing on the department's Secondary Roads Program for fiscal year 2012.
The N.C. Department of Transportation expects to receive $703,951 for the fiscal year, according to representative Ivan Dishman.
The DOT's No. 1 priority is paving 1.38 miles of Roby Greene Road at a cost of $366,006. The second and third priorities are 2.3 miles of Sampson Road at a cost of $2.3 million and 0.8 miles of Laurel Creek Road at a cost of $850,000.
The department also hopes to increase funding for paving on 0.69 miles of Big Branch Road by $100,000 and lists several other road improvements.
The residents of the area pointed to numerous problems with drainage, culverts and other problems along Roby Greene Road. Many shared personal stories of wrecking into the ditches or even into the river.
“The road is dangerous,” resident Mike Evans. “It's a road that was designed for probably the early 1900s, and I'm just concerned about the safety.”
The board, with Commissioner Tim Futrelle absent, unanimously endorsed the plan putting Roby Greene Road first on the list.
They also instructed the county manager to draft a resolution to consider at a future meeting expressing serious concerns about the condition of the road. That letter, if approved, will be sent to all members of the N.C. Board of Transportation.