NCDOT holds open house for proposed changes to U.S. 74/76 in Columbus County

NCDOT holds open house for proposed changes to U.S. 74/76 in Columbus County

DELCO, N.C. (WECT) - The N.C. Department of Transportation held an open house Tuesday for Columbus County residents to see proposed safety changes to U.S. 74/76 that aim to reduce crashes near the Delco community.

The project is estimated to cost more than $3 million dollars.

The public meeting was held from 5 to 7 p.m. on Oct. 22, at Delco Pentecostal Free Will Baptist Church at 238 Kaiser Road. The NCDOT showed proposed design maps at the meeting, answered questions and collected comments about the proposal.

The department proposes reconstructing several median openings along the four-lane highway between Byrdville Freeman Road and east of Money Hole Road. With the design, drivers on the side roads would turn right to enter the highway without the risk of crossing opposing lanes of traffic. Drivers then would enter a dedicated lane to safely make a U-turn if they want to go in the opposite direction.

The design, known as a reduced conflict intersection, reduces crashes by more than half the potential locations where a crash can occur compared to a conventional four-way intersection. The design has shown to reduce vehicle crashes by an average of 46 percent on corridors without traffic signals.

“I know some people are going to be dissatisfied with roads being…not being able to make left turns on some roads, but that’s for safety reasons. I’m sure that once this all laid out and people can drive over it and see it and understand it, they’ll appreciate it more,” said resident Donald Dowless.

People who cannot attend the meeting may send comments and inquiries to Alex Henderson, a Division 6 project manager, by contacting him at 910-364-0603; P.O. Box 1150, Fayetteville, N.C. 28302; or by email at US74-76-ColumbusCounty@publicinput.com.

The department will consider comments collected on the final design through 5 p.m. Nov. 5. The project is scheduled to start construction in May of 2021.

NCDOT will provide auxiliary aids and services under the Americans with Disabilities Act for disabled persons who wish to participate in this meeting. Anyone requiring special services should contact Lauren Putnam at lnputnam1@ncdot.gov or 919-707-6072 as early as possible, so that arrangements can be made.

People who do not speak English, or have a limited ability to read, speak or understand English, may receive interpretive services upon request prior to the meeting by calling 1-800-481-6494.

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