Carter Highway Committee set to recommend naming road for 100-year-old man

John Thompson • Apr 4, 2016 at 10:38 PM

ELIZABETHTON — The Highway Department of the Carter County Commission will introduce a resolution in the full commission in two weeks that a portion of Old State Route 143 in the Roan Mountain area be named for Durwood Julian, who will be turning 100 years old this year.

The committee unanimously agreed to make the recommendation when the commission meets April 18. The resolution drafted by County Attorney Josh Hardin listed many of the accomplishments Julian has made in his long life.

Those include being a charter member of the Roan Mountain Citizens Club, promoting the establishment of the Roan Mountain State Park, helping to get the Carter County Annex to the Northeast Correctional Complex located in Roan Mountain, and establishing the annual Rhododendron Festival.

The committee also heard from Janie Guinn about making Hyder Cemetery Road a county road. Guinn said there are five houses on the road, all with elderly residents. As with many cemetery roads, the Carter County Highway Department does provide occasional maintenance. 

Guinn said the county does a good job on the road, but after heavy rains, the gravel is washed into the ditch. 

“I would like it to be paved,” she said.

Before taking action on the request, Committee Chairman Mike Hill told Guinn she would have to obtain signatures of all the residents stating they were for making it a county road.

Hill said that could require the property owners to grant some right of way to the county. The road is now 15 feet wide, and Hill said a 30 foot right of way is required by current procedures. The property owners will also be required to pay for a survey of the right of way.

A public hearing on the road request will be held at the committee’s next meeting in May.

There will also be a public hearing next month on a proposed traffic-calming plan to place a 4-way stop at the intersection of Sunrise and Dawn streets. 

The committee also approved a proposed policy to require public utilities to post a bond when digging on county roads or rights of way. The bond is intended to guarantee the road will be returned to the same condition as before the utility work. The committee agreed there should be a $100 application fee to offset expenses incurred by the Highway Department.

Highway Superintendent Roger Colbaugh gave the committee a report on current progress. He said Summers-Taylor has completed a project to repave Cedar Grove Road. He said federal funds were used, and that caused a change of plans.

He said the county had previously planned to do the work and a repaving of State Line Road was to be included. That changed, because the federal rules required a private contractor do do the work. That meant that State Line will not be included.

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