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Plan clears way to fix worst road in Forsyth County

NORTH FORSYTH — Windy Oaks Drive in north Forsyth has been referred to as the “worst road” in the county, but that distinction likely will change soon.

During a work session Tuesday, the Forsyth County commission voted 5-0 to accept property from a remaining landowner along the dirt road.

Last month, the commission had accepted several other deeds as part of a paving and rerouting project.

“Per policy, we have to have this right of way given to us before we will simply take it over,” said County Attorney Ken Jarrard. “There was one property owner who had not dedicated their property, so it really marginalized our ability to truly provide this … as a county road.”

“That other property owner is [now] willing to dedicate to us.”

John Cunard, the county’s director of engineering, said the additional property would allow the road to be extended an additional .23 miles, to about .36 miles total. The new plan will also have a cul-de-sac at the end.

As it was a private road, the county had been unable to do any maintenance on the road, which caused headaches for residents and emergency responders.

After a rainy weekend in late 2014, a county fire engine needed to be towed out after it could not make it up the steep dirt road.

The fire department deployed chains and dumped more than 500 gallons of stored water to help free the engine.

At the time, Forsyth County Fire Division Chief Jason Shivers said the road was “just too slick for a piece of equipment that is not designed to go off road. A fire engine is not designed for steep, muddy conditions like they were faced with.”

No one needed to be taken to a hospital in that situation, and an ambulance that responded with the fire engine was able to negotiate the hill.

Commissioner Cindy Jones Mills, who represents the area, said during the work session that the county has been working to get deeds for more than a year.

“We have worked very hard on this,” Mills said. “Literally, it has been a labor of love.”