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City Council to consider support of road projects


Shannon Keith

Thursday, February 9, 2017

The Greenville City Council tonight will consider supporting two N.C. Department of Transportation projects that will widen and redesign heavily trafficked roads.

The council will meet at 6 p.m. on the third floor of City Hall. The meeting will include a public comment period.

The Fire Tower Road widening project covers about a 3-mile route through a densely populated residential area along Greenville’s southern and eastern border. It connects commercial areas on Fire Tower Road and 10th Street.

From a 16-foot center median, there would be two 11-foot lanes on either side. Five-foot bike lanes would be built along both sides of the road, and curbs and gutters would be added. Plans call for bicycle lanes along both sides of the road.

Traffic cuts in the median would allow vehicles to make left turns in certain subdivisions or U-turns to reach subdivisions and driveways.

The project, which has an estimated price tag of almost $30 million, was authorized earlier in 2016. The preliminary design shows about 20 houses and businesses must be bought out for the project to proceed.

The Evans Street-Old Tar Road widening project covers an almost 4-mile route from Old Tar Road near its intersection with Worthington Road through Evans Street near its intersection with Red Banks Road. 

The approximately $35 million road-improvement project will widen that section of road to include four 12-foot-wide lanes, a 23-foot median, sidewalks and bicycle lanes. The purpose of the project is to increase capacity and improve traffic flow along the project’s area. The preliminary design shows that 20-30 properties could be affected by the project.

NCDOT officials said the state will begin right-of-way property acquisition in 2019, and construction should begin in 2021.

NCDOT officials developed several design alternatives for each of the projects, which were presented during public input meetings. The preferred design alternatives for each will be presented to the City Council tonight. If the City Council approves the preferred design plans, it can pass a resolution supporting the project.

Also during tonight’s meeting, the City Council will vote on ordinances approving the annexation of eight properties by the city. Annexation is a legal process by which property located in an unincorporated area may become part of a neighboring municipality. The property must be next to and touching city lines to qualify for annexation.

Property owners may petition for voluntary annexation because they are seeking services a city provides, such as water and sewer or full-time police and fire departments. A city also may provide more favorable zoning or development practices that the property owners are seeking.

Once the property is annexed, it is entitled to the same privileges and benefits as other territories within a city’s limits and are subject to the same municipal laws and taxes.

The properties, which total about 35 acres, have an estimated tax value of about $1.8 million. After the properties are fully developed, they will have an estimated tax value of about $12 million. 

Contact Shannon Keith at skeith@reflector.com or at 252-329-9579.