Wednesday, November 29, 2023

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Graham, NC 27253
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DOT condemns property at NC 49 & East Harden Street for intersection improvements

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The North Carolina Department of Transportation has finalized condemnation proceedings on two more pieces of property near the intersection of N.C. Highway 54 (East Harden Street) and N.C. 49 (East Elm Street) in preparation for a planned redesign of the intersection.

DOT announced the planned redesign of the busy intersection in the spring of 2021; the preliminary plans call for the construction of a roundabout to replace the existing signalized intersection. The project also calls for construction of sidewalks and pedestrian crosswalks, DOT district engineer Chuck Edwards told The Alamance News last week.

DOT most recently completed condemnation proceedings against property at 400 East Harden Street and 415 East Harden Street in Graham.

“There is right-of-way and easements necessary to accommodate the projects,” said Edwards, whose district includes Alamance County and several surrounding counties. The intersection improvements at N.C. 49 and N.C. 54 are scheduled to be put out for bid this year and completed sometime in 2025, he said. The total cost for the project is estimated at $6.5 million, based on DOT’s latest State Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP).

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Alamance County tax records list the latest assessed value for the property at 400 East Harden Street, currently home to the All Washed Up coin laundromat, at $584,050; DOT disbursed $153,600 as compensation for the taking, according to the court file. That parcel includes a 4,260-square foot commercial building built in 2000 and about three-quarters of an acre of land; though both condemnation proceeding were against the land, not the structures on them.

DOT also recently finalized condemnation of property at 415 East Harden Street, which contains a 1,074-square foot ranch home built in 1955 on less than a quarter-acre of land. Alamance County tax records list the latest assessed tax value for the property is listed at $103,471. DOT disbursed $18,775 as compensation for the condemnation, according to the court file.

The two properties at 400 and 415 East Harden are owned by Thomas Phillip Young, who was represented for the negotiations by the Henson Fuerst law firm in Raleigh, court records show. There are 27 parcels affected by the project, according to the Henson Fuerst firm.

DOT has been represented by the state attorney general’s office, in keeping with its customary practice in all land condemnations.

Court records describe the reason for the condemnation proceedings against those properties, as well as two other affected parcels located on the opposite side of N.C. Highway 49, as temporary and/or permanent construction easements – in essence, creating a right-of-way by taking the edges of the properties.

DOT had previously started condemnation proceedings against a property at 400 East Elm Street, which is currently home to convenience store and gas station known as B Mart. DOT subsequently deposited a check for $62,735 as compensation for the taking with the Alamance County clerk of superior court’s office, according to the court file. The latest assessed tax value is listed at $860,462, according to Alamance County tax records.

DOT also previously initiated a condemnation earlier this year against commercial land near the intersection of N.C. Highway 54 and N.C. 49, which is currently home to a used car dealership, RM Cars LLC. Alamance County tax records list the latest assessed value for that property at $30,823; DOT offered $233,625 in compensation, according to the court file.
In addition to the condemnation proceedings that have been filed in Alamance County civil superior court, DOT also previously purchased easements and/or rights-of-way from a number of other affected property owners, based on documents that have been filed with the county’s Register of Deeds to consummate the transactions.

Those include the following purchases:
• $70,550 for a permanent utility easement at an unaddressed location along East Elm Street, owned by Dewey A. and Flonnie B. Brown;
• $12,400 for a permanent utility easement at 416 East Elm Street, owned by Enedino Quevedo Pavon;
• $12,000 for a temporary construction easement at 343 East Elm Street, owned by Carolina Hosiery Mills;
• $24,000 for a permanent drainage easement on four parcels at 334 East Harden Street, owned by Children’s Chapel United Church of Christ;
• $1,800 for a temporary easement at 204 Walker Street, owned by Harold, Austin, and Dean Wheeler;
• $21,000 for a permanent utility easement at 417 East Elm Street, owned by Glenn E. Byrd and Stanley and Glea Haithcock;
• $25,000 for a permanent utility easement at 413 East Elm Street, owned by Glenn E. Byrd, BB&H Properties, and Stanley and Glea Haithcock;
• $1,500 for a permanent utility easement at an unaddressed location along East Elm Street, owned by Kerry F. and Eunice L. Richmond;
• $4,000 for a permanent utility easement at an unaddressed location along East Harden Street, owned by Kerry F. and Eunice L. Richmond.

The easement purchases – which allowed DOT to compensate the affected property owners without filing condemnation proceedings in court – were negotiated by Alan Rothrock, according to documents filed with Alamance County’s Register of Deeds. Rothrock handles property acquisitions for the DOT’s division seven, which includes Alamance, Caswell, Guilford, Orange, and Rockingham Counties, according to the state transportation department.

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