04/17/05 — DOT could limit turning from Walnut Creek

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DOT could limit turning from Walnut Creek

By Matt Shaw
Published in News on April 17, 2005 8:33 AM

The N.C. Department of Transportation will have a public workshop Monday on a proposal to close some intersections and medians on U.S. 70.

The workshop will be 4:30-6:30 p.m. in the cafeteria of Eastern Wayne Middle School, 1271 New Hope Road. DOT representatives will be on hand to give information, answer questions and take written comments on the U.S. 70 Access Management Study.

DOT officials briefed Wayne County officials last month on the plan, which is intended to make highway traffic quicker and safer.

The state contracted with Kimley-Horn and Associates Inc., a Raleigh consulting firm, to study U.S. 70 through Johnston and Wayne counties with three goals -- to eliminate accidents, to ease congestion and to reduce the need for new traffic signals and possibly eliminate existing ones.

Should the consultant's proposal proceed, several Wayne County intersections would be closed or redesigned over the next two-three years. The state would further restrict driveways on U.S. 70 and could require some existing properties to begin sharing driveways.

Currently, there are 102 unsignaled intersections and median openings along U.S. 70 in Johnston and Wayne counties. Kimley-Horn proposes to close 23 of them and redesign 44 so only left turns are allowed, not cross-highway traffic.

Two of the changes would make it more difficult for Walnut Creek residents to get onto U.S. 70 West. If the median at Lake Wackena Road is closed and the Walnut Creek Drive intersection redesigned, village residents would need to go east on U.S. 70 and then U-turn to get onto U.S. 70 West. The state could design a turnaround lane to make the U-turns easier, though.

The proposal also calls for bridging Oak Forest Road, at Parkeast industrial park, over the highway to eliminate that stoplight.

The proposals include closing completely the U.S. 70 median at O'Berry Center Road and also near Camden Park Drive, close to the WGBR studios.

The state would also close the highway's entrances to the service road between William Street and Wayne Memorial Drive, which primarily serve hotels.

Several openings would be redesigned only to allow left-turns off the highway, not onto it. These include Martin Street, Edgar Street, Westwood Drive, in front of Wilber's Barbecue, Bluebird Lane, Long's Plant Farm Road, Uzzell Road and Beston Road.

NCDOT will provide auxiliary aides and services for disabled people who want to take part in the workshop. Contact Jerry Page at 252-237-6164, fax at 252-234-6174, or email jpage@dot.state.nc.us to arrange accommodations.