DOT plans Hertford County road improvements

Published 8:40 am Tuesday, July 13, 2010

WINTON – North Carolina DOT has nearly $800,000 earmarked for road improvement projects in Hertford County.

That was the news shared here last week when Jerry Jennings, NCDOT Division Engineer for the northeast’s 14 counties, presented a report to the Hertford County Board of Commissioners concerning prior and current year funding for secondary road improvements. Joining Jennings at the meeting were Win Bridgers, District Engineer, Lydia McKeel, Maintenance Engineer, and Jason Morris, Assistant District Engineer, all of the Ahoskie DOT office.

“We’re playing catch-up on a lot of these programs because of the state’s financial situation over the past couple of years,” Jennings told the board. “What we’ve done this year is incorporate two years of programs into one year.”

Jennings said that combined, DOT has allocated $792,504.30 for use in Hertford County for the Secondary Roads Construction Program. That money, he said, will be used on maintenance and resurfacing efforts.

He also noted that all unpaved roads in the county eligible for paving have been paved.

“There are a few unpaved roads in the county that do not have right-of-way available and, therefore, cannot be paved until the right-of-way becomes available,” he said, adding they will remain on a hold list.

Listed as the top two priorities in General Secondary Road Improvements (paved roads) are a 1.45-mile stretch of Statesville Road (SR 1310) from SR 1308 to SR 1311 and 2.11 miles of the St. John-Menola Road (SR 1141) from SR 1142 to SR 1146. Those projects, which carry a combined $448,750 price tag, will consist of widening, strengthening, upgrading and shoulder reconstruction.

Jennings said the widening will add a foot or two to each lane while the strengthening is adding extra layers of asphalt.

In the event that one or both of the priority projects are dropped from the list or additional DOT money becomes available, Jennings said an alternative list does exist. The roads on that list include Benthall Bridge Road (1.78 miles from SR 1164 to SR 1167); Pleasant Grove Road (1.38 miles from NC 561 to NC 305) and Fennell Road (2.35 miles from NC 561 to the Northampton County line).

Also included in the Hertford County allocation is $120,000 for paved road spot improvements; $80,000 for various pipe replacements; $60,000 for spot improvements on unpaved roads and $83,754.30 in funds reserved for surveying, right-of-way acquisition, road additions, contingencies and paving entrances to certified fire departments and rescue squads.

“If the right-of-way ownership changes hands on one of those unpaved roads, this body will notify you so you can go back and look to see if the new owner will grant right-of-way to have the road paved,” Commission Chair Johnnie Ray Farmer said.

In a unanimous vote, the Commissioners accepted Jennings’ report as presented.