Windsor leaders back U.S. 13

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 14, 2006

WINDSOR – The town of Windsor took a firm stand behind the four-laning of U.S. 13 Thursday morning.

By a unanimous vote, the Windsor Board of Commissioners followed the recommendation of Mayor Bob Spivey to adopt a resolution supporting the four-lane project for U.S. 13 between Bethel and Ahoskie.

Spivey told the board there had been several meetings about moving money from the project on U.S. 13 to a four-lane project of N.C. 11.

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A group of Hertford County leaders have advocated moving the funds to expedite the process of having N.C. 11 become a four-lane road.

Spivey said the Division Engineer’s notes from a June meeting indicated he didn’t feel either group had made a case for economic development.

The mayor said the resolution outlined what U.S. 13 meant to businesses presently located on the highway.

In part, the resolution reads, “Whereas the Board of Commissioners strongly believes that the existing route of U.S. Highway 13 best serves the persons and businesses now using the highway, as well as new communities and population centers being developed east and south of the existing route.”

Reasons the resolution gives for that belief include:

* U.S. 13 is the preferred route of the United States Marine Corps when traveling from Hampton Roads to Cherry Point and Camp Lejeune;

* The existing highway is a major truck route;

* U.S. 13 is the primary trucking route for access to the Bertie County Regional Landfill for numerous counties east and south;

* The road is a designated hurricane evacuation route and will become increasingly important with the projected population growth along the Albemarle and Pamlico sounds;

* The existing U.S. 13 route along the Robersonville-Williamston-Windsor corridor is the recipient of millions of dollars of commercial development that is dependent upon traffic count between Bethel and Ahoskie. Rerouting that traffic along N.C. 11 will seriously damage existing businesses and projections for new businesses;

* The route is an important corridor for the growing tourism industry;

* The existing U.S. 13, including an Ahoskie bypass, is the approved TIP route; and

* The Board believes U.S. 13 can be four-laned more quickly than the proposed alternate route along N.C. 11.

The resolution adds that the Windsor commissioners endorse the retention and improvements of the existing route of U.S. 13.

Spivey recommended the resolution be adopted and Commissioner Charles W.D. Fulk made such a motion. Commissioner O. Wint Hale seconded the motion which passed without objection.

After the meeting, Spivey reinforced his earlier statements that the town of Windsor supported the project on N.C. 11, but said he couldn’t support it at the cost of the U.S. 13 project.