05/03/12 — Work set to begin on road in Mount Olive

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Work set to begin on road in Mount Olive

By From staff reports
Published in News on May 3, 2012 1:46 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- The intersection of U.S. 117 and Main Street will be closed to traffic over the next few days as the state Department of Transportation begins a safety improvement project.

The work was expected to begin today and take approximately three days to complete.

The intersection has been the scene of several accidents, including fatalities, and the DOT was asked to study ways to improve the traffic pattern.

Currently, West Main Street traffic stops at U.S. 117 before crossing the highway or turning on to U.S. 117. Motorists on U.S. 117 can turn right or left onto West Main Street by using turn lanes.

According to the DOT, the best option for eliminating accidents is to restrict the directions that vehicles could travel through the intersection. Raised medians and concrete islands will be constructed that will change the traffic pattern, while still allowing emergency vehicles to drive through the intersection when necessary.

Once the project is complete, only southbound U.S. 117 traffic will be able to turn left on West Main Street. No West Main Street traffic will be permitted to travel across the lanes of U.S. 117. Traffic will be able to use the U.S. 117 and N.C. 55 interchange and the U.S. 117 and Smiths Chapel Road intersection to travel around the area.

The left turn lane on northbound U.S. 117 to West Main Street will also be removed.

DOT officials said the department will attempt to minimize traffic restrictions during rush hour. They also remind motorists to watch signs for travel information, stay alert and obey the posted speed limit.