'It needs to be fixed.': Hope Mills residents fed up with massive potholes

Diane Wilson Image
Friday, April 23, 2021
Hope Mills residents fed up with massive potholes
Hope Mills residents fed up with massive potholes

It's pothole season and for drivers, if you hit one just right, or should we say wrong, it can mean expensive repairs.

For one Hope Mills neighborhood, they're tired of dealing with their massive potholes, potholes that are five feet long and several inches deep. These potholes are off Rockfish Road in Hope Mills along Deaver Circle.

"People are aggravated by it. There are probably fifteen potholes on the road, six or seven so big where you can't have two-lane of traffic on them," says Nancy Umstead, who lives along Deaver Circle.

Umstead and her husband Chuck have been trying to get action as they say not only do cars dodge the potholes but those on bikes and even a person in a wheelchair. "We just worry about someone getting hurt, not necessarily what the road looks like," said Chuck.

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One resident even put out cones to warn drivers after hitting the potholes caused damage to a family member's car. The Umstead's along with others who use the road often have called the town of Hope Mills, the North Carolina DOT, and put up signs to get others to do the same. "Occasionally they have been filled with clay, sand, which lasts until about the next rain," Chuck added.

"Somebody has to take responsibility about it. It's not a private road," said Nancy. When the Umstead's looked online on the NC DOT public database to see who is responsible for the road, it shows the state maintains Deaver Circle.

Troubleshooter Diane Wilson got in touch with the NC DOT and found out it's not as easy as just fixing the potholes. A representative, Andrew Barksdale with the DOT confirms, Deaver Circle was approved and accepted by the DOT in 1980 to become a new service road for Wayne Collier Elementary School. However, Barksdale adds, Deaver Circle, for whatever reason was never built as a circle or connected loop, and that road was renamed to Sommer Drive by the Town of Hope Mills, and the DOT continues to maintain Sommer Drive today.

Barksdale says the state's public databases got Deaver Circle and Sommer Drive mixed up, but they go by the DOT's road records. The DOT has since corrected the public database and that database does have a disclaimer that states while every effort has been made to assure the accuracy of the data, this site is to be used for reference purposes only.

NCDOT is not responsible for any inaccuracies. As for the road that is Deaver Circle, Barksdale says the developer never dedicated this road to the state for maintenance. "We understand the concern people have about the condition of Deaver Circle. We are going to study this issue more and we'll explore some options about how the condition of this road could be improved in the future."

Meanwhile, the frustrations for the Umstead, along with those that use Deaver Circle, daily continue.

"It needs to be fixed," said Nancy.