How To Change a Private Road to a Public Road in NC


If you are considering buying or selling land which has a private road on it and you need the property to have a public road to complete the transaction feel free to contact me today. I have sold hundreds of tracts of land in North Carolina and have experience overcoming all types of obstacles.

How Hard is it for a Private Road to Become a Public Road?

The biggest difference between public and private roads is where the money for maintenance comes from. Private roads are paid for by the residents directly, or through a home owners association. Public roads are paid for by the NC Department of Transportation. It’s no surprise that getting the state to foot the bill would be in the residents best interest, as it would save them money.

When a road is first paved, and few people are living on it, the state isn’t receiving enough tax money from those residents to warrant paying for their roads. The residents will maintain them until more people move to the area and created a larger tax base. Eventually there will be enough people to hand the responsibility over to the NCDOT.

The problem is that the quality of the roads may not meet the standard needed for the NCDOT to assume that responsibility. Several years ago, around 2008, the housing market was in a lot of trouble, and money was an issue for many builders. A lot of corners got cut in order to make ends meet, and roads were no exception. If the NCDOT determines that the roads don’t meet the necessary standards for construction, they won’t be providing any maintenance for them. It’s then left to the residents living on those roads to either continue paying for regular upkeep, or to fund the reconstruction of those roads to meet the standards set by the state, which will then pay for any maintenance from that point forward.