Potholes

Potholes dot the residential roads around Scot Drive in Newport. (Dylan Ray photo)

BEAUFORT — The county is moving forward with collecting contract bids as part of an effort to overhaul roads throughout the Hibbs Acres subdivision.

County staff will discuss the project with contractors, as directed by county commissioners at their regular session April 15 in the commissioners’ boardroom of the administration building.

This month’s meeting marks the second time commissioners discussed the ongoing issues facing residents of the subdivision. In February, Wayne Fluellen and several of his neighbors spoke at length about what they described as poor roads throughout the subdivision.

“The street has potholes in it,” Mr. Fluellen said in February. “In fact, I had a cabinets man … come down from Raleigh in his MINI Cooper and he said I can’t make it down your street, would you pick me up at the mouth of your street in your car and drive me to your house? The conditions are appalling.”

On Monday, Mr. Fluellen reiterated the issues he and his neighbors are having.

“My cabinet man came again, today, and he had a helper,” Mr. Fluellen said. “He said ‘I see you haven’t gotten your roads fixed.’ I said, ‘Really man? Just put my cabinets in.’”

Mr. Fluellen also touched on how the roads affect neighborhood kids.

“You can’t skateboard down our street,” Mr. Fluellen said. “You say, who cares? (Well,) we have children. You can’t teach a young person how to ride a bike down a street on loose gravel. Something as simple as riding a bike, you can’t teach them.”

Poor road conditions aren’t the only issue facing the neighborhood. During extreme weather, several neighbors have reported severe drainage issues in the certain parts of the subdivision.

“The water (has at times) gone in my mailbox and that is 3 feet high,” Mr. Fuellen said.

The issues facing Hibbs Acres residents is something subdivisions, particularly new subdivisions, throughout the state are currently facing.

North Carolina’s Department of Transportation typically adopts subdivision roads but only if they meet an initial quality standard. Oftentimes, months or years pass before NCDOT formally adopts a new subdivision road, which tend to become damaged during the interim preventing the process from being finalized so NCDOT becomes responsible for maintenance.

Mr. Fluellen said while Hibbs Acres residents have tried their best to keep the roads at minimal NCDOT adoption standards, the roads have fallen into disrepair.

Hibbs Acres residents hope that with county officials backing this most recent overhaul, NCDOT officials will be more inclined to adopt the road.

County Planning Director Eugene Foxworth informed commissioners that after the construction phase, NCDOT will likely adopt the road after 90 days.

County Chairperson Mark Mansfield reminded everyone that the county is only acting as a facilitator to ensure NCDOT adoption. Neighbors plan on splitting the costs of repairing the roads once the county has collected bids from contractors.

Contact Dean-Paul Stephens at 252-726-7081, ext. 232; email Dean@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter @DeanPEStephens.

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