WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - The N.C. Department of Transportation will hold a public meeting Thursday, May 30, to discuss its revised proposal for upgrading U.S. 74/76 in Columbus County.
The meeting will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. in the East Columbus High School gymnasium at 32 Gator Road in Lake Waccamaw.
This project would replace the highway’s intersection with Chauncey Town Road in the town of Lake Waccamaw with an interchange. The highway’s same-level intersection with Old Lake Road would be closed, and a bridge would be built over the highway. Both intersections are a little more than a mile apart and require drivers to stop before crossing or pulling out onto 74/76.
After reviewing the comments from an open house last October, NCDOT and consultant engineers are proposing the construction of a two-lane service road that would create a new connection between Chauncey Town and Old Lake roads on the north side of the highway. The new service road would follow a portion of Georgia Road, which now has a dead end behind East Columbus High School.
“We strongly heard people’s concerns about this proposed project,” said Division 6 Engineer Greg Burns. “This service road would take some of the cut-through traffic away from the school, and it would better address the needs of emergency responders when the overpass is constructed at Old Lake Road and U.S. 74.”
While many residents were happy about the changes, one Columbus County neighbor had a suggestion.
“Put off-ramps at old lake on the east side of 74 there and with a third lane all the way to Chauncey Town so that way students wouldn’t be moving in and out of traffic unless they had to go on to Whiteville," said Elton Jacobs.
For more information or to send comments, contact John Gauthier, a Division 6 design engineer, at P.O. Box 1150, Fayetteville, N.C. 28302, 910-364-0603, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The deadline to receive public comments is June 28.