Intersection of East Ash Street and Oak Forest Road

Traffic crosses the intersection of East Ash Street and Oak Forest Road on Monday morning. Under a state plan, the intersection and two others on East Ash Street would be converted to roundabouts as part of widening the street to four lanes. Most left turns also would be eliminated.

Most left turns would be eliminated and roundabouts would replace three intersections on East Ash Street between Berkeley Boulevard and U.S. 70 under a $22.5 million state Department of Transportation plan.

The public will have the opportunity to look at the preliminary design maps, ask questions and provide comments about the project during an April 23 public meeting.

The open house will be from 4 to 7 p.m. in the Greenwood Middle School cafeteria, 3209 E. Ash St. People may attend any time since no formal presentation will be made.

Right-of-way acquisition is scheduled this year and into 2020. Construction is planned to start in 2021 and take three years to complete. 

The department plans to widen what is now a three-lane road into four lanes, separated by a median.

Roundabouts would be constructed at Ash Street’s intersections with Malloy Street, Oak Forest Road and Commercial Drive/Meadow Road. Roundabouts reduce the risk of crashes, especially serious ones, because drivers slow down to about 15 mph and travel in one direction when driving through them, DOT spokesman Andrew Barksdale said.

The design also eliminates the stop-and-go nature of a conventional intersection, he said. 

Also, medians are safer than a five-lane road with an open center turn lane, Barksdale said.

It would be a standard concrete raised median, and portions of it would be landscaped, he said.

Once the project is complete, traffic would not be able to turn left out of driveways. The DOT is moving away from open middle turn lanes and allowing left turns. Most left turns would also be eliminated in proposed widening projects on Wayne Memorial Drive and North Berkeley Boulevard.

“People will turn right onto the newly widened road, then do a U-turn at an intersection with a traffic light or at a roundabout, if they want to go left,” Barksdale said.

More information as it becomes available on the Ash Street project will be posted at https://www.ncdot.gov/news/public-meetings/Pages/default.aspx.

The Goldsboro Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, whose advisory board includes locally elected officials, requested that the DOT widen East Ash Street.

People who can’t attend the open house may send questions or comments to Russell Broadwell, a DOT Division 4 project manager, at P.O. Box 3165, Wilson, N.C., 27895; rbroadwell@ncdot.gov; or 252-640-6409. Comments received by May 8 will be considered toward the final design.

The DOT will provide auxiliary aids and services under the Americans with Disabilities Act for disabled people who wish to participate in this meeting. Anyone requiring special services should contact Samantha Borges at smborges@ncdot.gov or 919-707-6115 as early as possible so that arrangements can be made.

People who do not speak English or have a limited ability to read, speak or understand English may receive interpretive services upon request prior to the meeting by calling 1-800-481-6494.