Thank you for recent articles on coal ash (which I sent on to Lisa Jackson, Administrator of EPA) and NCDOT “improvement” project on Route 28.
Your interview with the DOT engineer answered some questions puzzling residents. Apparently, the purpose of improvement of 2 1/2 miles of Rte. 28 north is to grade, repave, straighten blind curves and level dangerous hills for commuter safety. However, travelers know that neither the curves nor hills were threatening and question why repaving that random small stretch of rural road was selected or even needed.
The cost of $9.6 million for construction and apparently another $2 million for property buyouts, totaling over $11 million conservative estimate boggles the mind. This project is funded with citizen gas tax dollars. I believe we in North Carolina pay the second highest gas tax in the US, 38.9 cents per gallon. Does the project, all 2 1/2 miles of a country road going nowhere, justify spending that amount of money on a segment that has been serving the moderate traffic pattern just fine?
DOT has plenty of taxpayer dollars and loves to build roads and bridges and eliminate curves so vehicles can travel fast and (safe?). That’s their limited mission in life. Local people and their elected officials can modify the intrusion of fast lanes in our lives, but these local entities need an enlightened vision on the value of land and preservation of our unique rural landscape and simple way of life. Are we there yet? Watch out, folks, for the future wasting of our money on unneeded and unattractive “growth projects” that are dreamed up by DOT and endorsed by our local city and county governments.
Debby Boots — Franklin, NC