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Alternative road projects approved

WINDSOR – The paving of Griffin’s Quarter Road will be postponed indefinitely.

Monday morning the Bertie County Commissioners held a public hearing as they considered removing the road from the Secondary Roads Construction Program presented last month by the North Carolina Department of Transportation in September.

Acting Division Engineer Jerry Jennings presented the program, including a proposal to spend $500,000 to pave roughly one mile of the road since it was the only unpaved road in the county for which DOT had right-of-way. There is only one house at the end of the road, according to Jennings.

Commissioner J. Wallace Perry objected to the expenditure, calling it “basically a $500,000 driveway.” Commissioner Rick Harrell also said he thought the money could be spent on roads that would affect more people.

The board voted unanimously to pursue removing the road and allowing the $500,000 to be spent on the list of alternative projects that were presented.

On Monday, Commission Chairman Norman Cherry opened the public hearing and asked for comments. County Manager Zee Lamb reviewed the board’s action and said the commissioners would be considering indefinitely suspending the paving of the road.

Cherry called for comments and none were made.

After closing the hearing, Perry made a motion to have Lamb draft a resolution removing Griffin’s Quarter Road from the program and asking that the alternatives be funded. Commissioner Charles Smith offered a second and it passed without objection.

At the September meeting, the board was informed that with the $500,000 and some money that was still available, the entire alternative list could be completed.

The roads on the alternate list include Jeff White Road, Jack Branch Road, Earley Station Road and Medson Lee Road. The Jeff White Road will see pipe replacements, widening, strengthening and shoulder reconstruction while Jack Branch will be widened, resealed and have shoulder reconstruction.

On Earley Station Road, DOT will remove the existing pipe and replace it with a box culvert as well as raise the road grade at Beaverdam Swamp. Medson Lee Road will be leveled, strengthened and upgraded from N.C. 305 to the end.