April 2, 2008

Bumpy rides in Apex NC

When driving or biking in Apex be prepared for a bumpy ride and be aware some of the main roads are always spotted with major heat cracks and pot holes. This is not a new issue with the Town of Apex but continues despite efforts of citizens to get the town to keep roads in town in good shape. The town staff routinely answers complaints about many local road conditions with the response that "Apex is not responsible for road problems along state maintained roads even if they are inside the town limits". When road problems are referred to the town manager, Bruce Radford, the immediate response is that "roads maintained by the state and are not our responsibility and we have not been able to get anyone in NC DOT to address the problems". Town officials insist that the town is not responsible for problems with roads the state oversees even if they are inside Apex. This response was included in a recent news article pointing out problems bikers have riding on Salem Street, the road through the center of downtown.

Bruce Radford, Apex's town manager, states in the article that he is well aware of the problem. "Of all the roads I receive complaints about in the town of Apex, this one is much worse than any other," Radford said. "It will jar your teeth and your car as well."

An article published March 22nd, 2008, in the News and Observer (also discussed in the Triangle Troubleshooter) touches on a problem along a portion of south Salem Street that presents riders, especially bikers, with a constant series of jolts when traveling the road. Although the north section of Salem was not mentioned, the area from Hunter Street all the way to US 64 is much worse and is riddled with major cracks across the whole road that deliver a jolt to drivers and bikers alike. No doubt these are the result of high temperatures from years of summer heat but the problem persists and neither the state or town will make an effort to repair or resurface the road.

Other roads in and around town (NC 1010, Davis Drive, NC 55 and parts of US 64) are in similar poor and unsafe condition. On US 64 between Laura Duncan Road and US 1 there are no less than eight significant dips in the road heading toward US 1 that cause vehicles to drop several inches when driving in the left lane at normal speeds. The left lane of US 64 onto US 1 northbound at the US 1 underpass also has had a sunken area across the lane for several years and the state does not see fit to repair it. It would seem the likely cause of these dips is a collapse or compression of the road support beneath these areas from storm runoff routed from drains in the center of the road to the shoulders. This same problem is evident in numerous places along NC 55 between Apex and Holly Springs and suggests poor construction during recent road improvements that seems to pop up in many places around the state in news reports about NC road construction projects.

Since neither the state or the Town of Apex seems to take responsibility for keeping roads in good shape it would seem prudent for drivers and bikers to stay alert for poor road conditions and be prepared to be jolted while traveling local roads...
News and Observer
March 22, 2008
David Bracken, Staff Writer

No smoothing out in sight for a bumpy ride in Apex

APEX - If you're one of the many cyclists who regularly ride down South Salem Street in Apex, you know the particular stretch we're talking about.

Situated between Apex Barbecue and Tingen roads, this half-mile section is lined with cracks, unexpected bumps and the occasional pothole.

"I'm just not sure what they think cyclists are supposed to do there," cyclist Janyne Kizer said. "They're telling us to go there."

This section of South Salem, also known as old U.S. 1, is part of the U.S. Bicycle Route 1, which runs along the eastern seaboard from Florida to Maine. Kizer is one of dozens of cyclists who ride the route each Saturday.

Kizer has complained to the town of Apex but was told the road's condition is the responsibility of the state Department of Transportation.

Bruce Radford, Apex's town manager, is well aware of the problem. "Of all the roads I receive complaints about in the town of Apex, this one is much worse than any other," Radford said. "It will jar your teeth and your car as well."

In addition to being a popular cycling route, the section of road is an entry point into four subdivisions, Radford said. He has no idea when it was last resurfaced, and he says DOT officials have not been able to tell him when it will be repaired.

"We've not really received much hope that it's going to be repaired," Radford said.

Messages left with engineers in charge of road maintenance for N.C. DOT District 5, which covers Wake County, were not returned this week. Original article...

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