'Red Route' strikes out

NC Governor Beverly Perdue
March 17, 2011 9:00:00 PM PDT
Governor Perdue signed a law Friday blocking the so-called "Red Route" from going through Garner.

Sandra Moody learned the news from the mayor. The potential 540 extension was slated to run through her retirement community -- Village of Aversboro.

"Those of us who bought in here planned for this to be our retirement home, and you know we didn't want to have to move again," Moody said.

Other Garner residents agree.

"We are pleased that the legislation passed and we're pleased that the town of Garner took this," Garner resident Andy Romanet said.

The bill prevents the North Carolina Turnpike Authority from developing any I-540 extension north of the Orange protected corridor. The Red line would have essentially split Garner in half.

"I don't think I could be any happier," Garner Mayor Ronnie Williams said. "I'm stuttering just thinking about it. I don't think I could be any happier."

Williams says news of the proposal last year stalled more than $30 million in residential development and threatened a project in the Greenfield South Business Park that will bring more than 200 jobs to Garner.

"It takes pressure off 1100 homeowners?it also gives Garner a chance to say we're back in business," Williams added.

At Aversboro residents watched construction near their clubhouse stop and potential buyers flee.

Now, resident Ralph Smalls, who retired in Garner from New York, will rest a lot easier.

"It's improving now that we hear results because people was in tears," Smalls said.

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