Commissioners hear from DOT on Stanly County roads


ALBEMARLE —The Stanly County Commissioners heard from several presenters, made appointments and took action on renaming a private road during Monday’s meeting.

The primary focus of the meeting was on road conditions and road maintenance in the county. Brett Canipe, deputy division engineer from the N.C. Department of Transportation Division 10, represented the DOT. Division 10 is headquartered in Albemarle and includes Stanly, Cabarrus, Mecklenburg, Union and Anson counties.

Tim Anderson, division maintenance engineer for the division, presented data on the DOT’s assets within Stanly County. Those assets include 845 centerline roadway miles — 126 miles of primary roadways, 689 paved secondary roadways and 30 miles of unpaved roads with a total of 1,698 miles of traffic lanes — according to Anderson. Anderson said that the division maintains 111 bridges with the bridge maintenance group and also maintains hundreds of pipes and culverts that lie under the roadways.

Anderson said the division had made a funding request during the last state budget but had planned for less than their total request.

“The legislature actually funded our entire goal, and that’s why we saw the bump,” said Anderson. He added, “It’s a pretty dramatic swing” which is why Stanly County motorists have seen an increase in lane closures as the division addresses the key maintenance projects.

Anderson also provided an overview of the DOT’s new multiyear Road Maintenance Improvement Program which includes continual maintenance projects like lane striping and litter removal. The new program also focuses on life cycles to allocated annual funding on a periodic basis.

Anderson said the division has an independent contractor evaluate all of the roadways in the county each year. That contractor provides a pavement condition rating from 0 to 100, with 100 being a freshly paved road. Stanly County’s average is 85.8 for all roads, and the division’s average is around 81 for all roadways. More than 94 percent of Stanly County’s roads are rated as fair or good (60 or above).

As Anderson completed his comments, the commissioners asked several questions about state funding and DOT activities. Commissioner Bill Lawhon asked Anderson about state gas tax receipts headed to Stanly County. Anderson said that, based on population, the county received roughly $9 million. Lawhon focused on East Main Street in Albemarle and said that manholes and potholes were problems that need attention, and that the county’s roads are not in great shape. “We aren’t getting these nice, glamorous roads that Mecklenburg gets,” said Lawhon.

Canipe addressed the commission after Anderson on the specific topic of a single-lane bridge near Aquadale on Bethlehem Church Road. The aging bridge had recently had its weight limit reduced again and either needs to be repaired, replaced or removed. Canipe said ultimately the DOT would seek a resolution of support from the county commissioners and conduct a public hearing process to get input from the community before making a final decision.

Following the DOT presentation, the commission heard from Jessica Hill and Katie Kutcher of the Centralina Council of Governments, a regional organization that serves the greater Charlotte region. The COG assisted the Stanly County Senior Center in performing a study related to the current state of senior services and the future needs of the county.

The commissioners heard from Karen McDaniel , E-911 director, regarding the naming of a private road off of Old Cottonville Road in Norwood. The Address Committee recommended the name Crawford-Austin Lane after property owners were split on what to name the road. The commissioners, after hearing public comments, voted unanimously to name the road Red Lane after public comments against other names.

The commissioners also passed a unanimous resolution declaring May 3, 2018, as the “National Day of Prayer.”

The commissioners appointed Rick Russell to replace Charlanne Tippett for a three-year term on the Nursing Home Advisory Committee and reappointed of Johnnie Woodard, Johnnie Harris and Sherry Poplin to new three-year terms on the committee.

The commissioners closed the new public business agenda with a presentation from Beth Olivieri and Dee Pankey-Thompson of GHA Autism Supports. April is national Autism Awareness Month.

The consent agenda was approved which included the minutes of the prior meeting, recommended vehicle tax refunds for March 2018, a health department grant application and two budget amendments.