GETTING ANSWERS: Haven Road
EAST FLAT ROCK, N.C. (FOX Carolina) - The “Getting Answers” road we’re looking at is in such bad shape, the postal office deemed it too unsafe for delivery.
It’s called Haven Road, in Henderson County. The road is about one-third of a mile in a small neighborhood just off Spartanburg Highway.
The road is covered in crater-like potholes that gash the pavement.
Brianna Hernandez Stallings says the bumpy ride is unforgettable.
“You constantly are bouncing around in your car. If left alone, I would swear, you could bounce from one seat to another,” Stallings said.
Stallings compares the experience to that of a ride at an amusement park.
“Like being on an old, ratchet roller coaster. You know the old, wooden ones that bang you up and down and jerk you around?” said Stallings.
There is a drop-off near the intersection of Mill Terrace that resembles a sinkhole. Lyn Coggins says it’s terrifying to drive down.
“We have to drive over very slow,” Coggins said, “So, I’d say no more than 10 miles an hour.”
Water also sits in the holes. You can’t tell how deep they go.
“There’s nothing worse in places, it’s everywhere,” said Coggins, “So, you can’t go around any corner here without hitting potholes.”
The N.C. United States Postal Services tell us they requested customers move their mailboxes to the end of the road due to its poor conditions—forcing Coggins to take a ride to get her mail.
“I’m not able to walk to the mailboxes. So, everybody has to drive. And there’s a lot of elderly people,” Coggins said.
Usually, we can contact Henderson County, the Village of Flat Rock, or the North Carolina Department of Transportation to find out why this road hasn’t been improved. Not this time. The city referred us to the county. The county referred us to the NCDOT. Haven Road isn’t under any of their jurisdictions. So, these officials are not responsible for the maintenance of this road.
Stallings says the community has tried to step in.
“Some very concerned neighbors were tired of their cars being damaged,” Stallings said, “So, they filled it in with cement, but it can only fix so much.”
The county considers Haven Road a private road. That means property owners are responsible for fixing it.
Stallings says they’ve tried, but most of the seniors and working parents who live there can’t afford it. And the handy work doesn’t last.
“I think some officials should definitely step in, because all of us have already put money into fixing the road,” said Stallings.
When we reached out to the NCDOT, they explained that, yes, the DOT can add roads to the state system. However, Haven Road does not meet their standards for a secondary road. And, legally, they cannot use taxpayer’s dollars to improve private property. They refer to the road as an orphaned road.
Coggins had hopes that someone could help them. She says the community used to have an HOA where residents could get together. It dissipated years ago.
“I have to get to doctor’s appointments on a weekly basis. So, I need these roads fixed,” said Coggins, “And I don’t need to end up with a broken tire.”
The NCDOT suggests residents look into governmental assistance to get the road turned over.
For now, unless the neighbors come out of their own pockets, there’s nothing officials can do.
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