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Mecklenburg County Supes reach agreement on roads / May 08, 2013
After three meetings, members of the Mecklenburg County Board of Supervisors Secondary Roads Committee reluctantly reached an agreement about which roads to add to the County’s Six Year Plan and the type of paving each road will receive.

The meeting started on an upbeat note when VDOT engineer Billy Smith shared his projections of monies Mecklenburg County stands to receive under the new transportation bill. Beginning with FY2014, Mecklenburg will receive monies from the Commonwealth Transportation Board fund for unpaved roads with daily traffic of at least 200 cars.

In fiscal year 2014 that amount is $9,338, and by FY2019 it grows to over $130,000. Also, under the new funding formula, Mecklenburg will receive, in addition to the Telefees, $172,984 in FY2017, $213,477 in FY2018 and $256,014 in FY2019.

By 2019, according to Smith, Mecklenburg County should have nearly $600,000 to pave roads. For the past several years, Mecklenburg County received less than $80,000 from the state to pave roads.

With funding on the horizon, Secondary Roads Committee members discussed how best to utilize the money. Supervisor Bill Blalock suggested the committee agree to pave as many roads as possible by using the least expensive paving method – the rural rustic road.

In 2003, VDOT developed the rural rustic road program to provide County’s with “a flexible approach to paving many unpaved roads.” Before an unpaved road can be considered for paving as a rural rustic road, it must meet certain criteria:

The Board of Supervisors must pass a resolution declaring the road to be a “Rural Rustic Road” and agreeing to limit future growth and traffic along that road for the next 10 years;

The curves along the road should be “generally adequate for the traffic and any increase in speeds expected after the improvement – though the posted speed limit is 35 mph;”

Roadway drainage must be sufficient or require only minor improvements;

The daily traffic volume must not exceed 1,500 vehicles.

County Administrator Wayne Carter expressed his concerns with Rural Rustic Roads. “They can have less than 18 foot of pavement and if you meet a logging truck or piece of large farm equipment, you’ll be in the ditch on your axles.” The road is not wide enough to accommodate two side-by-side vehicles if one of them is large and the drainage ditches that abut the road are extremely deep.

Carter also suggested that any road which connects two paved roads, such as Lucinda’s Dirt Road, would be better off if paved under VDOT’s pave in place plan because it is, most likely, a wider road.

Committee members unanimously, albeit reluctantly recommended the following roads be placed on the paving list and receive the rural rustic road paving treatment: Lucinda’s Dirt Road, Parsons Road and Red Store Road.

The recommendation will be voted on by the full Board at its monthly meeting May 13.

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