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How do I find out who’s responsible for cleaning and maintaining local roadside ditches?

Terrie Romano

It depends on where the ditch is. If it’s on private property, then the owner is responsible. On public land, the N.C. Department of Transportation maintains ditches in unincorporated areas, while some cities and towns take responsibility for some areas within their limits.

To determine if it is state-maintained, call the N.C. DOT maintenance department at (910) 341-0500. If a determination cannot be made by phone, a Citizen Action Request (essentially, a work request) must be submitted by phone and a supervisor will inspect the area.

To reach DOT maintenance in Brunswick County, call (910) 754-6527, and in Pender County, (910) 259-5413.

For areas in Wilmington city limits, call the drainage division of Stormwater Services at (910) 341-4646. Wilmington city responsibility ends at the land owners’ property line. New Hanover County has tools online in the same area of its Web site that offers property tax information.

The original question that led to this answer asked specifically about Torchwood Boulevard, which is across from Bayshore Drive off Market Street in New Hanover County.

Parts of Torchwood Boulevard are state-maintained, while others are private. If the problem is in a state-maintained area, then the N.C. DOT is responsible for cleaning the ditch. Private areas are the responsibility of the property owner.

User-contributed question by:
Ralph Sierra

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One Response to “ How do I find out who’s responsible for cleaning and maintaining local roadside ditches?”

  1. On November 4, 2009 at 9:59 pm Lee wrote:

    The bushes and weeds along Carolina Beach road are getting so big they are hanging over the road. You can’t even ride a bicycle down the side of the road anymore without having to move so far out into the regular lane it’s unsafe

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