Fork Creek Road to get guardrail next year
DOT announces 2013 secondary road plan
The N.C. Department of Transportation (DOT) has made installing a guardrail along Fork Creek Road in Saluda one of its top priorities for secondary road funding in Polk County next year.
The DOT held a public hearing Monday, Sept. 24 with Polk County commissioners to hear public comments regarding the state’s plan for secondary road improvements in 2013.
A group of residents requested that the state install a guardrail along a section of Fork Creek Road because they said they feared vehicles could drop off a large embankment. County commissioners also approved a resolution in support of the state installing a guardrail there.
Costs for the Fork Creek guardrail installation are estimated at $165,000, with about half of the funding having been obtained. DOT district engineer Steve Cannon said the guardrail project did not qualify for spot safety funding, so the state made the commitment to put aside money from the secondary road program.
The total budget for improvements in 2013 is $576,213, but some of those projects were actually completed this year because of their urgency. Bishop Lane, Twin Drive and Hitching Post Road in the Silver Creek Community development were paved, which cost $32,000, $15,000 and $55,000 respectively. The funding for the Silver Creek Community roads came out of the 2013 funding.
District engineer Steve Cannon reviewed the projects for next year, saying most are asphalt surface treatments (AST). Cannon said the widening of Collinsville Road was removed from this year’s secondary road plan. Instead, the state agreed to widen, drain and pave Peniel Road from Columbus town limits to Hwy. 108, which is estimated to cost $400,000.
Cannon said the Peniel Road project is under contract with an estimated completion date of Nov. 30, 2012.
Cannon also said the Adam Millis Road paving project, in this year’s budget, is partially completed; the road has been graded and is waiting to be paved. The Adam Millis paving is estimated to cost $40,000. Dalton Road is also under construction, with cost estimates at $220,000 from this year’s allocations.
Public comments included a Collinsville Road resident who said she is pleased the Collinsville Road widening has been postponed. She said it unnerves her to think the road might be widened when there is already a speeding problem there.
Silver Creek Community Vice-President Don Yarbrough thanked the DOT for the completion of phase I of his community’s road paving project. He said residents of the Silver Creek Community are grateful, as are the school children who do not have to walk far to get on buses anymore.
“The community morale has improved so much recently,” Yarbrough said. “This is a direct result of the DOT, board of commissioners and the community joining together to get this project completed. Again, our thanks to the DOT and commissioners for helping to get this project completed for the new school term.”
Yarbrough asked DOT representatives if three other roads in the community have been considered for paving. He said the estimates given by the DOT seemed excessive compared to original estimates.
Cannon responded that the costs are indeed higher than the original estimates for the remaining roads, but said he would be glad to take another look at the costs. He said at this point, because of the costs, the roads have not been pursued any further. The roads would have to be added to the state system as the other roads were this year in order to be paved.
Other comments came from commissioner vice-chair Renée McDermott, who asked if the patch from River Road to Golden Road could be paved.
Setzer said River Road is an old identified need and there’s been a lot of debate on what the state should do with River Road. He said the state didn’t get rights of way on that stretch of road, but it’s pretty wide and could pave it just on the maintenance right of way.
McDermott specified that she is talking about only the little section of road between River and Golden roads.
Setzer also announced that former DOT board of director member for Polk County, Conrad Burrell, retired and Larry Kernea out of Murphy is his replacement.