NORTH FORSYTH — Residents living on what has been called “the worst road in Forsyth County” may not have to deal with that unflattering designation for much longer.
At a work session Tuesday, the county commission voted 5-0 to accept property deeds for right of way from landowners on Windy Oaks Drive, in north Forsyth.
As it is a private dirt road, the county has not been able to fix any of the issues, which also include a steep grade.
“The end result here would be the county is accepting Windy Oaks [Drive] into perpetual maintenance by the county,” said Larry Ramsey, who was filling in for County Attorney Ken Jarrard during the meeting. “It’s .23 miles of roadway, probably 10 people [living on it].”
For Commissioner Cindy Jones Mills, whose district includes the road, it will be the culmination of a lengthy effort.
“When I first got into office [in 2013], one of the gentlemen got in touch with me [who lives] somewhere on this road, and said you can’t even drive into it,” she said. “They told me not to even attempt to drive down it. They couldn’t get fire [trucks] … you can’t get a [school] bus, they can’t get a mail carrier.”
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 it was towed.
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.
Preliminary plans call for the road to be paved, rerouted and become a cul-de-sac. Mills noted one property owner would not sign over any right of way.
“We had to change it,” she said. “We had to shorten the extent of the road because of one person. She would not sign it, she has kept it.
“At least now they’re going to get a partial road that we can at least get fire down and at least buses.”
As the issue was approved at a work session, it most likely will officially be adopted at the commission’s next regular meeting.