Road Paving Divides Neighbors in Tryon

Residents living near River Road in Tryon are fighting over what type of road it should be, gravel or paved.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation is paving River Road from Golden Road to Morgan Chapel Road in Tryon.

Polk County Commissioners passed a resolution to do this at a meeting in April 2015.

Some residents reached out to commissioners because they were upset that the gravel road was stirring up dust and it would be more convenient if it was pavement.

Commissioner Ray Gasperson said there are other issues too.

” DOT said this is a major maintenance issue for them because it becomes washed out in certain sections,” he said. 

Other residents in the area living near River Road ride and own horses and enjoy the gravel road. 

Mari Cartwright said she had an accident while on her horse on paved road.

“I have a little walking horse and he has a long stride and all of the sudden I was on the pavement the horse and me,” she said. 

Members of the Foothills Equestrian Trail Association use the path when the trails on the members property are flooded.

Riders said the gravel is safer.        

“It keeps the traffic down. Safer for horses. Horses are shod, if they’re on pavement it makes it a lot slicker,” said Cheryl Every who lives on River Road and is a member. 

NCDOT built a horse path next to the road they paved Tuesday to try to compromise with residents that were upset.

Riders don’t think it’s enough and fear it’s just the first of many roads that will be paved over.

The commissioner told 7 News the county has no plans to pave any more roads without the right of way from residents there.

Residents signed the right of way for this part of River Road when a nearby bridge was rebuilt.

In North Carolina, Gasperson said county roads are maintained by the state and no tax dollars paid for this job.

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