North Carolina Department of Transportation Survey
The North Carolina Department of Transportation has recently posted a “NC Moves 2050 Survey” as part of their ongoing efforts to prioritize funding for road construction and infrastructure going forward. If you are interested in taking the survey a link is provided below. I took it, it only takes about five minutes and no personal identifying information is required.
As we all know having a safe, reliable, and efficient travel infrastructure is paramount for all of us in our daily lives. Designing, funding, and building/improving roads is a long and complicated process – it is not uncommon for larger-scale projects to take over 20 years to complete from conception to completed construction. We are blessed to live in a beautiful and growing state. Back in the late 90’s and earlier when state officials were planning our current construction projects, few projected that North Carolina would be growing at its present rate. Some of the short comings are very apparent in our coastal communities which have experienced unprecedented growth and in our larger metropolitan areas which have experienced similar growth.
While nobody has a crystal ball, if these long-range projections are not accurate, what often happens is construction of highways that is based on inaccurate data – and roads are build that will not be able to support local traffic which will require new roads or road widening. Road construction is frustrating for almost everyone, and it is more frustrating with hundreds of millions of dollars are spent building roads that will need to be improved in less than a decade.
This scenario is particularly troubling for my clients (local business owners and residents) on busy streets (College Road, Carolina Beach Road, Kerr Ave, and Market Street in Wilmington, New Hanover County, North Carolina) who have experienced multiple takings over the years when these roads are widened multiple times over the years. When this happens, it provides some indication that the Department of Transportation data projections for local traffic counts was inaccurate, causing the need for widening many local roads. Multiple takings are devastating for businesses who lose parking, access points, and even experience total takes that required closing or the relocation of their businesses or homes.
Local growth is a good thing, but it has its limitations. Our local roads are experiencing the type of traffic congestion that is the result of projections from years ago that did not fully anticipate the growth in our area and the additional impact of tourism travel. This combination of factors has created very challenging travel conditions in our community. Help is on the way (depending on your perspective and whether you are a home owner/business owner whose property will be impacted) with the planned construction of the Hampstead Bypass, widening of 17/Market Street, Kerr Ave, major improvements planned for College Road, and perhaps the construction of the Cape Fear Crossing.
I hope I am wrong, but one of my concerns is that the data used to support, plan, and fund these projects does not fully consider the growth in population and tourism that our community continues to experience. For this reason, participating in these surveys may be beneficial – although candidly, I don’t see how the survey takes any of that into consideration.
If you are experiencing a condemnation action or have questions, please feel free to contact Shawn Evans for a consultation at 910-251-6088.