Residents want state to take over private road after washout

Washed out roads raise concerns for homeowners

BURKE COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - Vietnam Vet Allen Hicks has never seen anything quite like it, he says.

Floodwaters last Thursday destroyed a culvert and took a huge chunk out of the only road in and out of his neighborhood.

“There’s no way for us to drive out now,” he said.

Nuckolls Drive, in southern Burke County, has been around since the 1990s. It’s a private road so people who live along it have to keep it up. There’s been minor issues before but nothing like this.

Repairs to what happened last week are estimated at least $10,000 to 15,000.

“We don’t have it,” said Hicks.

Ten years ago, residents asked the state to take the road over but were denied. Now, a petition is being prepared to try again.

The state does not just take over any road upon request. Certain requirements and standards must be met.

All property owners must give up a 45-foot-wide strip for the road and right of way, at no cost to the state. At least two occupied homes must be along side every tenth of a mile. The road surface as well as any culverts and bridges must be up to state standards. Gravel roads will be considered if they were part of a plat filed with the Register of Deeds Office before 1975 but in the case of Nuckolls Drive, the plat was filed much later. That means the road surface would have to be paved for the state to consider taking it over.

Total cost for residents could run into the many tens of thousands of dollars. Still, they intend to make the request of the state. In the meantime, they have set up GoFundMe pages to seek donations. A local CBD store has started a raffle in hopes of raising at least $2,000.

If they cannot get the state to take over the road, at least they might be able to fix the chasm that cuts off at least four families.

A footbridge is in place so people can cross the broken road but they fear any emergency that requires an ambulance or fire trucks could turn into catastrophe if the culvert is not fixed soon.

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