Caldwell County will tear down house to build new driveway for county building

May. 23, 2013 @ 01:54 AM

The county has entered a deal involving tens of thousands of dollars to build an additional entranceway to the county Health and Human Services building, perhaps the busiest county building.

The Caldwell County Board of Commissioners agreed Monday night to spend a total of $75,000 to buy an adjacent property and demolish a house there. The property will be used for a new driveway to the county building, which includes the Caldwell County Sheriff's Office. The building's parking lot currently has just one entrance on Morganton Boulevard, and there is not a traffic light there.

“That is the most confusing entrance and exit that I know of” in the county, Commissioner Chris Barlowe said at Monday’s meeting.

Limited access to the building has long caused anxiety among some motorists. If driving on Morganton Boulevard from Lenoir, traffic must pass the building, merge into a left turn lane and waiting for a gap in oncoming traffic.

The new property is on Morganton Boulevard at the existing traffic light for Industrial Court, which will allow the county to build an entrance at that traffic light.

The county has sought to buy the property for the past five years, but the owners only recently lowered the asking price.

The county now is seeking bids to tear down the brick house, county spokeswoman LouAnne Kincaid said. The house contains asbestos, which will add to the cost of demolition. The new drivewaycould be open in two years, she said.

The traffic improvement also could help accommodate future development in the vicinity, said Jeff Branch, chairman of the board of commissioners.

“If we ever build any more buildings out there, it’ll be a lot safer out there,” he said.