NCDOT will make final decision on road abandonment
SMITHFIELD – Johnston County Commissioners voted 6-to-1 to authorize the abandonment of a secondary dirt road. Three property owners on Old Olive Road (State Road 1347), an unpaved road that runs between Black Creek Road and Packing Plant Road, petitioned the County and NC Department of Transportation to close a 0.32 mile portion of the road nearest Black Creek Road.
The property owners requesting the closure were Hunter Eli Olive, Amanda Jane Olive, and Mary Hunter Olive Waller. They own property along the section they petitioned to close.
During a December 5 public hearing, Tammy Thompson spoke in opposition to the petition to abandon a section of the rural road. Thompson lives on Packing Plant Road but owns property on Old Olive Road.
“I do not support the closure. The solution to benefit one should not come at the expense of others. Those others are the public, the people of this county, that you are charged, making sure their best interests are served,” Thompson said, adding six sections of the dirt road were washed away during a flash flood three years ago leaving some people in their homes unable to leave.
Commissioner Tony Braswell said some residents on Old Olive Road petitioned the County eight or nine years ago to pave the road. He says increased traffic on Old Olive Road is from a business on the other end, not on the Black Creek Road side, which is narrow in spots.
Commissioners said in discussions with the NCDOT, it was revealed an official right-of-way for a portion of Old Olive Road could not be located, and likely was never acquired or recorded.
Commissioner April Stephens expressed concern about the lack of a right-of-way, and for telling someone what they could or couldn’t do with their land, but at the same time said there was a need for a thoroughfare for residents.
Commissioner Tony Braswell made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Ted Godwin, approving the petition to close a 0.32 mile section of Old Olive Road. The measure passed 6-to-1, with Commissioner Stephens voting against.
Commissioners noted after their vote, the ultimate decision on the abandonment is with the NC Department of Transportation.
The Town of Four Oaks recently adopted a Resolution in a support of the closure. The site is within their Extraterritorial Jurisdiction (ETJ). The decisions by the Town of Four Oaks and Johnston County Commissioners have been forwarded to the NCDOT.
Due to minimum road width requirements, Johnston County Public Schools does not allow buses to operate on Old Olive Road.