NCDOT to Implement Temporary One-Way Traffic Pattern on N.C. 86/South Columbia Street in Chapel Hill Tuesday, May 07, 2013

RALEIGH — Motorists will encounter a traffic pattern change next week as construction progresses on the N.C. 86/South Columbia Street Enhancement Project in Chapel Hill.

Beginning Monday, May 13, weather permitting, the N.C. Department of Transportation will temporarily close the southbound lane of N.C. 86/South Columbia Street between Purefoy Road and Mason Farm Road to allow crews to construct the center turn lane and travel lanes, as well as bike lanes and sidewalks. Southbound traffic will be directed to take Manning Drive to U.S. 15-501/Fordham Boulevard as a detour route. The northbound lane will remain open.

This phase of the project was originally scheduled to last for six months, with the one-lane, one-way traffic pattern remaining in place from April through September.  However, coordination between NCDOT, the contractor and the Town of Chapel Hill enabled the department to cut that time in half, and the southbound lane is now expected to reopen by August 13.

“We recognize the importance of this project and the tremendous benefit it will be to this community once the dust settles,” said NCDOT Division Engineer Mike Mills. “We also recognize the impact of the construction on the people who go to work and school in this area, and have looked for ways to alleviate that impact as much as possible.”

The $4.6 million contract was awarded to Triangle Grading & Paving Inc. of Burlington. Work on the project began in November and involves widening the 0.8-mile section of N.C. 86/South Columbia Street to include a center turn lane and bus pullouts, improving safety and traffic flow 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 project is expected to be complete by July 2014.
 
The N.C. 86/South Columbia Street Enhancement Project is one of several infrastructure improvement projects scheduled this summer in the southern portion of the Chapel Hill and Carrboro community. A map of the project area is attached. The Town of Chapel Hill has assembled a team to manage the projects and communicate local traffic information helpful to motorists throughout the summer. For additional information about this project and others in the area, including adjustments to Chapel Hill Transit routes, please visit the Town of Chapel Hill’s Road Construction Projects Web site.

A media availability for summer road construction projects is set for 11 a.m. on Wednesday, May 8, at Merritt’s Store and Grill, 1009 S. Columbia St. Chapel Hill NC 27514. Representatives from NCDOT, Town of Chapel Hill, and Orange Water and Sewer Authority (OWASA) will be available to answer questions. Media are welcome to park at Merritt’s parking lot.

 ***NCDOT***

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