A Charlotte construction company has agreed to fix a Lincoln County roadway washed away during early summer flooding for free.
Hazel Sanders, owner of Sanders Utility Construction Company on Brookshire Boulevard, said the company’s employees will begin work on reconstructing Amity Lane in Iron Station in a couple of weeks.
Residents along the roadway have been separated from the rest of the world since late June, when heavy downpours and severe flooding damaged numerous parts of Lincoln and Catawba Counties.
The destruction prompted a local visit from Governor Pat McCrory, who surveyed various damaged bridges and roads throughout the region, reminding residents that he and his staff would be working hard to make sure individuals received the proper financial assistance for repairing their homes and property.
While a creek near Amity Lane rose to an unprecedented level during the rainy weather, blocking drainage pipes underneath and washing part of the road away, county officials said the predicament also stemmed from residents’ lack of road maintenance.
Since Amity Lane is privately-owned, residents have the responsibility to keep it up to par.
While residents begged county officials to fix the road, officials said they had no authority in the matter.
All county roadways are maintained by either local citizens — if privately-owned — or the state, county officials said.
Sanders said her company plans to do the Lincoln County road work two to three consecutive weekends this fall since employees are busy doing contract work during the week.
“All of our employees feel like family,” she said, “and they always jump in and do what needs to be done.”
The company will specifically be fixing the road’s 16-foot deep, 25-foot wide gulf, filling and compacting it with dirt before putting a surface on top.
“It will be better than what they had to begin with,” Sanders said of the long-awaited project.
Stranded residents contacted the company early-on after hearing they maintained a large-diameter pipe for fixing the road, but at the time, the company did not have the necessary material, Sanders said.
Metrolina Landscape, also in Charlotte, joined the effort with Sanders Utility Construction.
In addition, Sanders’ son, Joe, also contacted a number of other area companies, seeking donations of materials for the project.
While The North Carolina Department of Transportation and N.C. Forest Service united shortly after the incident to build two temporary bridges for residents, including a foot bridge and one for slow-moving vehicles to access, the root of the problem remained.
Sanders Utility Construction Company does not have sufficient funds to repair the entire roadway, Sanders said, but does plan to fix the washed out portion so that individuals may once again drive their vehicles safely in and out of the neighborhood.
Sanders estimated the project would cost around $30,000.
Resident Debbie Whitley hoped the road would be repaired by winter.
“I don’t want to be stranded in my home again like we were this summer,” she said.
She is, however, excited to finally see her road get fixed.
“I am glad that someone is going to help us,” Whitley said.
Sanders noted her company would reconstruct the road properly, in a way which should prevent any similar future mishaps.
She noted the decision to complete the project stemmed from her Christian values.
“They (residents) were really having trouble finding someone that would help them out,” she said. “The Lord has just blessed us so much there was no choice really other than helping bless someone else. I would like to think if I was in the same predicament that someone would offer their services to me.”