Dot Project

GARY BAND/The Warren Record

Jimmy Harris, center, and Mayor Walter Gardner, left, stand with NC Department of Transportation staff Joey Hopkins, Ben Upshaw and Scott Wheeler on the corner of Macon and Main on July 22. 

Plans to put in a longer turning lane on Macon Street in downtown Warrenton will have to wait until at least July 1, 2021, the first day of the new fiscal year for the North Carolina Department of Transportation. 

Due to a severe decline in gas tax revenue, the NCDOT is over budget by nearly $750 million. 

But a three-man crew did come out to Warrenton to have a look at the space on July 22, accompanied by Warrenton Mayor Walter Gardner, Town Administrator Robert Davie, and Jimmy Harris, who owns the land where Milano’s once stood. Harris wants to donate part of it to DOT in order to make it easier for trucks to turn onto Main Street.   

According to Davie, no formal, engineered plans can be developed until the FY 2021, but DOT is in the process of putting together a simple rendering. The town of Warrenton has no plans to pay for any restructuring of the intersection at this time.

Harris said ideas for the rest of the space are open for discussion, and plans to discuss them with Preservation Warrenton and the Warren County Arts Council. 

There has also been some mention of painting murals on the walls of CC’s and Quilt Lizzy, but Harris said he has no say in and nothing to do with that.  

And while there is no guarantee that DOT will decide to fund the turning lane project, Harris said he wants to try and keep the space clear for an eventual staging area for the job. 

“I don’t want to leave it vacant for all time,” Harris said. “But we have to wait on DOT to see if they can do it.” 

For now he welcomes ideas and hopes to have a plan in place soon.