Roadway hazard lurks

By Vicki Hyatt | Feb 08, 2013
Photos by: Vicki Hyatt

Those who regularly travel U.S. 276 South, especially an area commonly known as the Waynesville Mountain, understand the warning signs that say “Bump” truly mean what they say.

The deep, irregular-shaped cracks near the top of the mountain affect motorists in both lanes. Some drivers who know what lies ahead slow down, but those who hit the area traveling the 50-miles per hour speed limit face the danger of bouncing into the opposite lane, or worse yet, tumbling down a sharp embankment.

A small section of the road near the mountain top has been settling for years, an event that regularly brings a N.C. Department of Transportation crew to the area for repairs.

Lately, repairs have not lasted long. A road crew patched the area two weeks ago, but a rain several days later widened the cracks to the point the road is worse now than ever.

A long-term fix is planned for later this year. The design work is done and the project will be sent out to bid on Feb. 26, said Brian Burch, a construction engineer with DOT. Work is expected to start in April.

Meanwhile, warns Tanna Timbes, who regularly travels the roadway, safety is a huge concern.

“That spot is not safe for cars, children on school buses, motorcycles, dump trucks or anyone else,” she said.