02/10/10 — U.S. 70 Bypass crossing draws attention

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U.S. 70 Bypass crossing draws attention

By Steve Herring
Published in News on February 10, 2010 1:47 PM

The planned U.S. 70 Bypass crossing at Wayne Memorial Drive deserves equal attention to that being given to the cloverleaf interchanges at the bypass and N.C. 581 and at the U.S. 117 Bypass, say members of the Wayne County Planning Board.

To help ensure that happens, board members Tuesday night voted to ask the Goldsboro Metropolitan Planning Organization, or MPO, to increase its $350,000 budget for consultants for special studies.

The Planning Board had been asked to review the Goldsboro Urban Area Planning Work Program draft for 2010-2011.

Board member David Quick called the board's attention to the special studies budget that includes $75,000 for consultant work for an environmental impact study for the cloverleaf interchanges at N.C. 581 and U.S. 117 Bypass.

The draft proposes $50,000 to study potential and future needs for the Wayne Memorial Drive interchange area.

"The study on the cloverleaf on 581 and 117 Bypass is $75,000 and the study on the 70 Bypass and Wayne Memorial Drive is every bit as significant and as every bit involved and time consuming as that other," Quick said. "If one is going to run $75,000 then the other is going to run at least $75,000."

Since the Planning Board cannot change the proposal, it should have County Planner Connie Price, who serves on the MPO, recommend it be changed, Quick said.

It is an "awfully involved process," he said. Quick added that he did not think it could be done for $50,000. Quick suggested asking that budget be increased to $375,000 to $400,000.

Board member Chris Cox then offered a motion to have Price recommend that the Wayne Memorial Drive project receive $100,000 instead of $50,000. Quick seconded the motion that was then approved unanimously.

Quick added that Price also be asked to promote U.S. 13 improvements.

He compared the need for doing so to the Patetown Road.

Quick said that the MPO, Planning Board and "everybody" overlooked Patetown Road where development along that road has exploded in recent years.

He said that dirt is being pushed close to the road as the state prepares for a bridge where the new U.S. 70 Bypass crosses the road.

"At some point we are going to need to widen it (Patetown Road) to three to four lanes," he said. "There will be no way to do that the way they are putting that dirt up to the road."

Quick said that the county has to be "light years" ahead when it comes to highway project requests.

Other projects in the special studies budget include:

* Update of the city land use plan, $75,000

* Extension of the multi-use (bike and walking) path, $50,000

* Continue planning work relative to former train station (Union Station) for use by GATEWAY and possible passenger rail, $50,000.

In other business Tuesday night, the board approved three subdivision plat finals and deferred another.

The board approved a plat for four lots at Village Grove off N.C. 581 in Fork Township. However, in a split vote, members denied a variance request for the project.

A 10-acre lot that is part of the project lies wholly inside the 100-year flood plain. State law exempts lots of 10 acres or more from subdivision control.

Developer James L. Scott had requested a variance from a requirement that a road to the property be built above the 100-year flood plain level.

Board member Chris Cox questioned why Scott would be required to build the road to those standards since the property, because of its size, is exempt.

Chip Crumpler, of the county planning department, told Cox that on the original plat that the 10 acres had been broken down into lots. That is not the case on the final plat. Also, the 10-acre site is included on the plat and as such must comply with the county's subdivision ordinance.

The board was unanimous in its approval of the plat, but split 4-2 to deny the variance request. Cox and Charlie Holloway voted against the motion to deny the variance.

Conditional approval was given to the Jordan L. Harvey two-lot plat on Community Drive in Fork Township. The conditions include the project receiving driveway approval from the state Department of Transportation. The vote was unanimous.

The board split 5-1 to defer action on a one-lot project for Brandon and Carolyn Pelt on Combs Road in Stoney Creek Township. The project is located near the end of the Goldsboro-Wayne Airport.

Board members said they wanted the Airport Authority to study and comment on the proposal before acting on it. Board member Mike Aycock voted against the delay.

A three-lot project for Vernon Bartlett also received conditional approval. The project is located on Oakland Church Road in Fork Township.

Aycock said he had received complaints from emergency services personnel concerning the difficulty in reaching the area because of a poor driveway.

The board voted 6-0 to approve the project, but with the condition that the driveway be brought up to standards.