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Why no local flora – crepe myrtles or palms – in medians of College or Carolina Beach roads?

Ken Little
StarNews
Median

This South College Road median is bare except for grass. (StarNews file photo)

Due to costs associated with maintenance of plantings, the N.C. Department of Transportation does not include flora in their projects, said Chad Kimes, Division 3 operations engineer.

“Once a project is completed, N.C. DOT typically receives requests from counties and municipalities for funds for plantings. These funds can be granted based on a county/municipality’s willingness to accept maintenance of the plantings and meet N.C. DOT’s guidelines for planting within the Highway Right-of-Way manual. This is also based on availability of funding which is very limited,” Kimes said.

“As in the case for College and Carolina Beach roads, there has not been a formal request for additional plantings,” he said.

Added Allen Pope, division engineer: “It basically comes down to maintenance funding. In the areas of municipalities we would be glad to participate in planting these enhancements, but would be looking for someone else to maintain them. Our current maintenance budgets cannot handle additional maintenance responsibilities without affecting other maintenance needs.”

Here’s a link to N.C. DOT’s “Guidelines for Planting within Highway Right-of-Way,” which includes the state agency’s requirements in order to plant.

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