Beloved local business asks DOT to reconsider traffic circle at Chadbourn intersection

Opposition to proposed roundabout near Chadbourn
Published: Oct. 20, 2021 at 8:18 PM EDT
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CHADBOURN, N.C. (WECT) - The NCDOT formally announced their plan Tuesday to add a traffic circle to Peacock Road and Highway 74/76.

The agency made the intersection a four way stop recently, but officials say the stop signs were a temporary fix that allowed them time to design, fund, and construct the circle.

The new traffic pattern is estimated to cost $1.6 million and be completed in 2023.

The preliminary design, though, moves the intersection east and encroaches on a nearby convenience store.

The community has been talking about this intersection for some time, but the consensus is that the price of development shouldn’t come at the cost of a beloved local business.

Jennifer Caines is the third generation to run Peacocks Stop in Chadbourn. Her grandfather built the store with his own hands 31 years ago, but the new roundabout could jeopardize the family business.

“This might shut our doors,” said Caines. “We would lose the majority of our parking lot if not all of it because it would come so close to where our customers park. No, we’re not sure that they’d be able to park when they’re done with the right away.”

The Columbus County Board of Commissioners and the Chadbourn Town Council have both heard presentations from engineers on the proposal and requested impact studies to understand how it would affect the surrounding parcels of land.

“The Columbus County Board of Commissioners and the Chadbourn Town Council is against this… they’ve expressed that they are against this, they’ve been with us in this fight the entire time,” said Caines.

The town mayor says they haven’t yet seen an impact study and they were unaware the rendering from the DOT would be released this week.

“We know that we need to move forward and we need to progress, but at the same time we want to make sure that everybody is able to live with the decisions that are made, and actually still do business,” said Mayor Phillip Britt.

Caines created an online petition and the store has a printed copy at their register. In just the past 24 hours, dozens have signed the petition, to ask the DOT to reconsider encroaching on the store.

“I would think that the people in this community in the elected officials would know a lot more about what this community needs than anybody from the state,” said Caines. “We’ve been in this location open for 31 years, we started in June of 1990 and we hope to be here another 31 years.”

The DOT is accepting public comment on the project and will take comments received until October 28 into account for the final design.

Public comment on the proposed changed is currently being accepted by the following methods:

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