Council endorses street projectPublished 2:09pm Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Washington’s City Council is supporting a proposed project to improve a section of 15th Street to make it safer.
By supporting the N.C. Department of Transportation’s proposal without any changes, the city is assured of DOT paying the entire cost of the estimated $3.2 million project. Without the city endorsing DOT’s proposal, the city faced the possibility the project could be delayed or not built at all, according to City Manager Brian Alligood.
DOT wants to improve the section of 15th Street from Carolina Avenue (U.S. Highway 17 Business) to Pierce Street. That section is about two-thirds of a mile long, according to DOT.
That section of 15th Street has about three times the number motor-vehicle crashes compared to similar sections of roads across the state, according to DOT data.
The proposed project calls for widening that section of 15th Street from a 48-foot-wide, undivided road to a 64-foot-wide, four-lane divided road with a 16-foot-wide median and 7-foot berms. To address crash concerns, the median will be a channelized, left-turn-only median, according to Alligood.
NCDOT wants the council to approve the project’s design in order for the project to continue, according to Alligood. Sometime in 2014,DOT will make a presentation about the proposed project to the council and ask for its formal support of the proposed improvements, reads a memorandum about the proposed project.
DOT and Alligood noted that some business owners might not like the proposed project because they believe it would make it more difficult for some of their customers to access their businesses. DOT believes any inconvenience would be minimal, if any, Alligood told the council.
“What they’ve said is they’ll do that and they’ll move forward with the project, if the council will support that. What they don’t want to have happen is move forward with the project, hear the resistance from business owners along that and then have council back up and say, ‘We don’t want to support that project. We’d like for you to do something different.’ There not going to make a free-flowing median out of it, is what they’ve said, otherwise their not addressing the crash history and reducing the crash incidents,” Alligood said.