12/07/04 — Board hopes to put brakes on stoplight

View Archive

Board hopes to put brakes on stoplight

By Matt Shaw
Published in News on December 7, 2004 1:56 PM

The Wayne County commissioners are trying to stop a stoplight on U.S. 117 South from being activated.

County officials asked the N.C. Department of Transportation on Monday not to turn on the stoplight at O'Berry Road near Dudley and to look instead at other options, such as an overpass.

A local DOT official reportedly has agreed to keep the signal in flash mode for now.

The stoplight was installed in late November, much to the surprise of county commissioners. Typically, the DOT informs the Wayne County Transportation Committee of its plans, but not this time.

The stoplight would be the first on U.S. 117 South between the Wayne County Fairgrounds and the Interstate 40 interchange in Sampson County. There are two intersections with flashing lights.

During Monday's commissioner briefing, Commissioner Jack Best noted that U.S. 117 South was designed to be a freeway.

"If we start putting stoplights on it, it'll be like U.S. 70 in no time," he said.

The commissioners believe the stoplight may be related to concerns about Southern Wayne High School students turning or driving across U.S. 117 before school and in the afternoons.

Commissioner Efton Sager said he would be inclined to allow a stoplight if students were endangered.

But the DOT has other options than stoplights, Commissioner Atlas Price said. He noted that an intersection near LaGrange was redesigned to eliminate accidents.

The commissioners had planned to pass a resolution against the stoplight. But DOT Division Engineer Jim Trogden reportedly told County Manager Lee Smith that the stoplight would not be activated until the DOT looks at other options.

The DOT has recorded more than 20 accidents at the intersection in the past three years.

Paving contract

The commissioners awarded a $120,574 contract to Allen Grading Co. Inc. to pave and provide storm drainage for a new parking lot that will be next to the Jeffreys Building.

Allen Grading Co., owned by Goldsboro City Councilman Chuck Allen, had the lowest bid of six companies seeking the work. The other bids ranged from about $127,000 to $166,000.

Smith was happy with the bid, which was well within the budget for the project, he said.

Also Monday, the commissioners set the 2005 property listing period. People needing to update their records should go to the tax office between Jan. 3 and Jan. 31.

The board met for more than 30 minutes behind closed doors to talk about industrial prospects. No action was taken afterward.