A ‘grate’ problem is driving motorists crazy in Rocky Mount

Driving You Crazy

ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. (WNCN) — A driver reached out to CBS 17 hoping to get answers about a drain that’s driving him crazy on a road in Rocky Mount.

UPDATE: A ‘grate’ solution to potentially dangerous drain problem on Rocky Mount road

The drain is located on Sunset Avenue in front of the Hardees.

Ray Griffin sent pictures showing the drain’s grill sticking up and the cone on the side of the road. He said the cone normally is sitting in the middle of the drain warning drivers to go around it.

“I hope you can help with this issue that’s been this way for literally months with a cone sitting on top of the drain until a big truck runs over the edge of it,” Griffin said in an email to CBS 17’s Laura Smith.

He said he has to drive between the drain and a small concrete median and is concerned the cone and drain grate will cause a serious crash.

“Please help. It’s been going on too long with someone just putting the grate back in place and returning the cone on top of it,” the Rocky Mount driver said.

Laura Smith reached out to the North Carolina Department of Transportation to get answers. She learned this has been on the department’s radar for several weeks.

“Just to be clear: we have been working on this issue for the past several weeks, even before you reached out to us,” said Andrew Barksdale with the NCDOT.

The NCDOT is working with the developer of Hardees on improving the situation. Below is the email to Laura Smith about the drain.

We are working with the developer of the Hardees on improving this situation involving a storm grate (which looks like a grill — see pix of it taken today) which has a cone over it.

The Hardees opened about a year ago, and we issued a driveway permit for them to access our road at this location with their new restaurant. As part of this permit, they had to make some storm drainage connections.

We are also going to start widening and reconstructing this road soon, but we wanted to make sure Hardees could open and design a driveway and storm drainage system that would work with our highway widening project.

We initially authorized them to use a grate, like you see here, where they installed a drainage structure (a box that is under the roadway carrying drainage pipes to the curb about 7 feet away) as part of the driveway permit.

However, the grate is loose within the box due to minor damage. We realize this is not ideal for traffic driving over it. So, we are exploring options about how to reconfigure this grate into a solid manhole cover that would allow traffic to more smoothly drive over it. It does not pose a traffic safety hazard. The cone is there to prevent future damage to the box.

We hope to have a solution finalized in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, traffic can easily go around the orange cone without the need for slowing down. It’s also not unusual for there to be small bumps in a roadway due to one reason or another.”

If you have something driving you crazy on the roads and you want CBS 17 to get answers, email Laura Smith at LSmith@cbs17.com.

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