Southern Shores residents fight road project to keep trees

SOUTHERN SHORES, N.C. (WAVY) – Residents in the small town of Southern Shores on the Outer Banks called 10 On Your Side upset about a road project that will chop down about 90 trees.

Town officials say they want all trees at least four feet from the road cut down for the safety reasons. The work would be done on Fairway Drive and at the intersection of South and West Dogwood Trails.

These are living creatures,” resident Evan Becker said. “That have been with us for 40 to 50 years and given us a lot.

Town officials say over time the roots of the trees have grown under the pavement, causing the roads to crack. They say the trees will be gone, and in their place will be curbed roads.

I can remember jumping and kicking my heels, saying I live in Southern Shores,” said resident Tommy Karole. “[It was] my dream, the trees. I have the ocean less than a mile away.

Karole moved to Southern Shores 14 years ago. His said Dogwood Trail is already a cut-through for drivers heading from Route 158 to Highway 12. He fears this will increase the issue.

The tourists getting to Corolla through our neighborhood is wrong,” Karole said. “The traffic going to Corolla is not my problem. It is not our problem. It is not the town’s problem.

Southern Shores Town Manager Peter Rascoe said the road projects are currently out for bid. They are hoping to soon have a contract in place and work could begin work in the next couple weeks.

I think the residents feel that this hasn’t been looked at carefully enough, Becker added.

The old thing, you can’t fight city hall,” Karole said. “You can fight city hall. You just have to get off your chair and do it. Will I win? I don’t know if I will win.

Residents say they will continue to fight. They have started a petition and a couple Facebook pages to let people know about the issue. Some residents are even planning legal action against the town council.

Rascoe said the roads were originally built by a private developer. They were taken over by the town when it became incorporated.  He said they haven’t been touched in almost 50 years.

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