NCDOT Admits Flooding In Man's Driveway Caused By Highway Work

5:35 PM, Mar 21, 2013   |    comments
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Archdale, NC -- The North Carolina Department of Transportation has agreed to settle a two-year dispute with an Archdale homeowner.

Dee Miller contacted WFMY News 2 in October 2012 about a flooding issue he believed was a result of an NCDOT highway project that began in 2010.

Miller believed the Highway 311 bypass construction redirected flood water onto his property but his attempts to get the department to fix the issue had been futile.

After two years of disagreements about whose responsibility the problem was, NCDOT is now working with Miller to reach a resolution.

The department plans to pay to fix the problem.

"It has been a struggle for me in being patient with it," Miller said, explaining that the drawn out process has worn him out.

Back in October, a highway department spokesperson told WFMY News 2 their project had only increased flooding to the area by three percent.

Thursday, John Olinger, a division construction engineer explained their hydraulics engineers actually found it was originally a 10 percent increase.

Still, it wasn't significant enough to warrant a resolution from the department.

"I guess the biggest frustration was the days [the water would be] over the driveways, and I can't leave to go do what I needed to do," Miller said recalling how the flooding affected his family.

Miller says he was also in fear that his 7-year-old daughter could fall while playing near the unstable rock tiles the flooding has caused.

According to Olinger, the process to reach a resolution has taken a long time because the state needed to make sure it was culpable before doling out taxpayer money.

"We get a lot of issues where people say that our projects caused issues, and we have to investigate to make sure it's not a preexisting condition or something that has been damaged by the project," he said.

Between pressure from WFMY News 2 and Miller's persistence from the start, more than two years later engineers have taken a second look.

"When they went back and remodeled it with adding in our project portion of it and using different models, they came up with about a 25-percent increase. And based on that, that is significant," Olinger explained. "We may not have been as responsive as we needed to but we did have three projects going on, and it was trying to get all that tied together to figure out how that drainage was working."

Miller says he's just relieved in light of the progress.

"I'm not out to win. I'm just out to resolve my problem," the homeowner said.

The NCDOT is working on the details of the settlement with Miller.

Olinger says the department will cover the cost of building an additional drainage tube to contain the runoff water inside the creek. 

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