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Bid to rescind vote on Castleberry widening fails
Official says many residents dont want road project

FORSYTH COUNTY — Forsyth County Commissioner Todd Levent made what he described as a “last-ditch effort” to undo a previous decision to widen Castleberry Road.

During the commission’s meeting Thursday, Levent made a motion to rescind three votes taken Feb. 20. It failed 3-2, with Commissioners Pete Amos, Brian Tam and Cindy Mills opposed and Jim Boff joining Levent in favor.

Other than Levent’s motion to “rescind the vote that turned Castleberry Road into a four-lane road as presented in our [agenda] book,” no comments were made before the vote.

On Friday, Levent said he chose to take the step because he has heard from numerous residents of the area who are opposed to the project, which would expand Castleberry to four lanes with a grassy median from Hwy. 20 southwest to Bethelview Road. Much of that stretch lies in his District 3.

He said several neighborhoods along Castleberry have expressed fear for their safety and concerns about more traffic.

Rather than the four-lane plan, Levent said he prefers an option adopted in November 2012. That plan would have kept the road at two lanes, but would have straightened many of the curves and added a sidewalk. The February vote rescinded that plan, however.

The widening project was approved by voters as part of a 1-cent sales tax referendum in 2003. The county has since spent nearly $9 million on the design and right-of-way acquisition for the project from previous sales tax collections.

In addition, the state Department of Transportation recently gave the county $1 million to jump-start the project.

But Levent said a general obligation traffic bond, which voters will decide this November, also played a part in his effort to rescind the earlier vote.

“With the transportation bond coming up, I’m hearing some people saying that, ‘I’m not so sure I can vote for that transportation bond because of this Castleberry thing. It just lowers my trust in government, that they didn’t do the right thing with our money,’” Levent said.