Work Begins Tomorrow on N.C. 86/South Columbia Street Widening Project in Chapel Hill Monday, November 26, 2012

RALEIGH — Work begins tomorrow on a N.C. Department of Transportation project to widen and enhance a section of N.C. 86/South Columbia Street in Chapel Hill from Purefoy Road to Manning Drive.  

The 0.8-mile section of N.C. 86/South Columbia Street will be widened to include a center turn lane and bus pullouts, improving safety and the flow of traffic in the area.  Sidewalks and bike lanes will be added to both sides of the road, improving safety for pedestrians and bicyclists and maintaining the character of Chapel Hill.  

The $4.6 million contract was awarded in October to Triangle Grading & Paving Inc. of Burlington.  The project is expected to be complete by July 2014.

Crews will begin installing signs this week and brief, intermittent lane closures are possible. Message boards will inform motorists of any lane closures or traffic shifts.

Crews will also begin selectively clearing trees, only removing those necessary to accommodate the wider roadway and new sidewalks and bike lanes. Any trees cleared as part of the project will be sold to a local sawmill to be made into lumber.

Motorists in the area will be most significantly impacted from April through September 2013, when traffic will be one-way on South Columbia Street, with traffic going northbound from Fordham Boulevard toward Manning Drive. Outbound traffic will be detoured onto Manning Drive.

For real-time travel information at any time, call 511, visit www.ncdot.gov/travel or follow NCDOT on Twitter. Another option is NCDOT Mobile, a phone-friendly version of the NCDOT website. To access it, type “m.ncdot.gov” into the browser of your smartphone. Then, bookmark it to save for future reference. NCDOT Mobile is compatible with the iPhone, Android and some newer Blackberry phones.

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