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When do they ever fix up Airlie Road?

Ben Steelman

Actually, Airlie Road — the scenic route that loops off from the intersection of Oleander Drive and Wrightsville Avenue, follows the Intracoastal Waterway a bit, then links up with U.S. 74/76 just before the Wrightsville Beach drawbridge — had a makeover not so long ago.

Maintenance work on Airlie Road closed the route for three days in October 2008, noted Richard King, public services for the City of Wilmington. (The city has been in charge of Airlie Road since the 1999 annexation.)

King said street and road work in Wilmington is determined by funding (i.e., how much money’s available) and by a pavement condition index, which rates surfaces on a 1-to-100 scale, with 100 being perfect. Most streets in the city, he added, average around 77 to 80 on the index.

Airlie Road poses some special challenges, King said, since it’s made of concrete rather than asphalt, so it’s a little harder to maintain.

That’s the official word. It’s possible something else is going on. Tree-lined Airlie excites some intense passions among locals. (One Star-News letter writer, back in the 1990s, said she felt “the warm fuzzies” every time she drove along it.) It might be that residents along the road don’t want it to become a cut-through for overflow traffic, so they don’t lobby as hard as they could for resurfacing and improvements.

User-contributed question by:
James Mahony

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