DOT to improve Bertie roads

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 21, 2007

WINDSOR – It’s that time of year again.

No, not the season to be thankful and jolly, although it’s that too.

In Bertie County, it’s also the time of year when the North Carolina Department of Transportation (DOT) releases its plans for improving secondary roads within the county.

Sterling Baker, a DOT representative, came before the Bertie County Commissioners at their regular meeting Monday night to tell them of plans for the upcoming year.

State funding for road improvements was cut in half of the amount received last year, due to a state law change.

However, Baker said he does not expect the funding cut to be permanent.

&uot;The state’s goal is to have all state roads paved by 2010. After that time, the mileage of all paved secondary roads will determine the allocation,&uot; he stated.

Since Bertie County is one of the largest in the state land-wise, it has many secondary roads, which Baker said would put the county in a good position for more funds in 2010.

But for now, the county will just have to make do with what funds are available.

Scheduled for improvement this year are five roads scattered throughout the county.

Construction has already begun on Cherry Farm Road (SR 1142), located north of Lewiston-Woodville. A 0.72-mile section of that road is undergoing a grade, drain, base and pave for a total estimated cost of $300,000.

Cedar Landing Road (SR 1521), located south of Windsor, will be contracted out to undergo widening, strengthening and an upgrade on a 1.3-mile section in the spring of 2008. That project is estimated at $180,000.

A half-mile portion of the John Thompson Road (SR 1331), which is on the Hertford County line northwest of Colerain, is scheduled for a $300,000 grade, drain, base and pave in the same 2008 contract.

On the Morris Ford Road (SR 1342), located between Trap and White’s Cross, a 1.5-mile section is slated for widening, strengthening and upgrading to the tune of $210,000.

Finally, the Tripp Road (SR 1224), which is just south of Connaritsa, will be repaired, strengthened, and upgraded for an estimated $160,000.

During the public comments portion of the meeting, Basil Hoggard, a Bertie County citizen, spoke up to voice his concerns over the safety of the Bull Hill Road.

&uot;I would like to see that road widened for the safety of the children on school busses,&uot; Hoggard remarked.

He continued, &uot;I thought about this because I have seen school busses have to run off the road when meeting another large vehicle. There just isn’t room for two large vehicles on that road. It’s a real danger and I’m surprised there hasn’t been a wreck of a school bus there yet.&uot;

There are plans in the works for the next fiscal year to address that very issue.

That and one other project is planned for the next fiscal year, but construction has not yet been scheduled.

A widening, reseal and shoulder reconstruction is planned for the Bull Hill Road (SR 1301) on a 5.58-mile stretch from its beginning just outside of Windsor to Ross’s Church.

In addition, there are also plans for Williford Road (SR 1237) on the Hertford County line to be widened, strengthened and upgraded.