Drivers revved up about rough roads

Durham roads

July 13, 2010 8:48:48 PM PDT
A big road resurfacing project in downtown Durham has turned commutes into jarring, bumpy rides.The North Carolina Department of Transportation is using stimulus recovery money to repave about three miles of downtown streets. The price tag on the state project is about $862,000.

The DOT allowed a private contractor to scrape all of the roads at the end of May, before beginning the resurface work.

So now drivers are asking why tear up all the streets if crews are going to wait weeks to re-pave them?

"I know I've hit a lot of the humps in the road and there should have been a sign in there somewhere," Durham resident Alexia Corbin said.

"I don't think they should scrape them all at one time," Durham resident Angelina Minor said. "I've busted my tire running on these raggedy roads. It's not fair to the public."

In serving the public, the DOT points out that what's smoothest for commuters is not exactly what's best for taxpayers.

They say the cheapest, fastest, most efficient way to resurface local roads is to work every phase on all streets at once. That means grind them down all at once.

"The least amount of time for the traveling public and to the taxpayers," said Brian Davis with the NC DOT.

But now the project itself has hit a pothole. A sinkhole, two feet deep has surfaced and part of Roxboro Road also has to be completely rebuilt.

"It's kind of like remodeling an old house," Davis said. "You start tearing down walls and you don't know what you are going to find."

The DOT promises to finish on time, but the Sept. 19 completion date is still two months away.

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