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Plan calls to improve roads

WINTON – Three secondary roads in Hertford County are going to be improved.

On Monday night, Acting Division Engineer Jerry Jennings of the North Carolina Department of Transportation appeared before the Hertford County Board of Commissioners to update the county leaders on the 2007-2008 Secondary Roads Improvement Plan.

The plan calls for Swain’s Mill Road, the Ahoskie-Cofield Road and Thomas Bridge Road to receive combined funding of nearly $225,000 for improvements.

The Swain’s Mill Road project, which includes replacing cross lines, widening and strengthening of the road, is receiving $65,000 to go along with the $200,000 already budgeted from the 2006-2007 program. The upgrades will take place between S.R. 1450 and N.C. 45.

The Ahoskie-Cofield Road project calls for that road to have the cross lines replaced, widening of curves, leveling, and for ditch and shoulder reconstruction from S.R. 1409 to N.C. 45. That will come at a cost of $80,000.

The final project for this year will call for replacing cross lines, strengthening and the shoulder/ditch reconstruction on Thomas Bridge Road. The work will be done on the portion of the road extending from N.C. 45 to S.R. 1426 and will also come at a cost of $80,000.

The project also has $35,000 available for surveys, plans and right-of-ways countywide and $110,000 for spot stabilization and safety for paved road improvements. There is also $75,000 earmarked for various pipe replacement and drainage.

Jennings explained to the commissioners that the focus of the Secondary Roads Improvement Project has shifted, particularly in Hertford County.

“When the program began, the intent was to pave all of the unpaved roads in the state that met specifications,” Jennings said. “The vast majority have been statewide and specifically in Hertford County.”

Jennings said there were 17 eligible roads in the county that haven’t been paved, but they were on hold due to difficulties with obtaining right-of-way.

He said the program now is more geared to improving the paved roads within the state. The funding for this year is being geared to that end.

Commissioner Dupont A. Davis asked what would happen if the right-of-way became available for one of the 17 roads.

Jennings said there were monies available for those projects that could be applied for to pave those roads.