DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – Durham city planners are moving forward with plans to bring water, fire hydrants and pavement to a neighborhood without the services for more than three decades, but homeowners say the timeline is too long.
A stretch of Ardmore Drive in Durham city limits is unpaved, and not connected to municipal water, fire hydrants and, in some cases, sewer service.
Homeowner Isaac Woods says his family and other neighbors have been advocating for years to get pavement and services that are offered just down the same road.
“The problem is, this is a basic necessity that every citizen and American is entitled to,” Woods said. “We pay taxes for fire hydrants, fire protection and city water.”
Woods worries construction costs increased since then. The city estimates costs per parcel at $60,000 to $65,000, as of now.
“We didn’t ask for a handout. We just say, Hey, don’t let the rates keep going up until it’s unreachable,” Woods said.
On Thursday, planners and neighbors met to discuss new designs and next steps.
“We have plans. This is paper you can touch. This is good,” Durham Public Works engineering manager Jeff Lecky said. “We’re a lot further along and we’re getting near the end of the tunnel. I can’t explain how we got here. I can just explain where we touched it moving forward. We’re in a good spot.”
Engineers say the project is on schedule and they’re working as quickly as possible. With many steps to go from paper to pipes and pavement, construction isn’t expected until 2026.
“We really have a lot of projects in real estate,” Lecky said. “So it’s just getting to it, right now, there’s just a high volume.”
Woods said he wants to see that timeline shortened.
“I mean, we’ve been talking about this for years and decades. There’s no reason,” Woods said.