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BYH, some see the glass as half empty. I say just get a smaller glass and quit complaining....

14th Street widening project thinned to two-lane design

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A revised vision for the widening of 14th Street would would trade four lanes for two and add a large median, stoplight and bike lanes to the roadway.

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By Seth Thomas Gulledge
The Daily Reflector

Friday, March 23, 2018

Planners have scaled back plans to widen 14th Street Extension from four lanes to two lanes with a median and bike lanes and say they should be able to complete the work without relocating residents.

State Department of Transportation officials advised the Greenville City Council about the revisions Monday while updating the council on a list of projects expected to bring $450 million of new roads and bridges to the city over the next decade.

The 1.1 mile-stretch of 14th Street between Red Banks and Fire Tower originally was to be widened from two to four lanes with a median, said William Kincannon, NCDOT division construction engineer. The designs also included 5-foot bike lanes and a 10-foot berm. Planners changed the design in response to feedback from community, Kincannon said.

The new plan features a two-lane design between Fire Tower and York Road, with a 16-foot median and 13-foot travel lanes. It still includes 5-foot bike lanes and a 10-foot berms. The existing four-lane section between York and Red Banks will be updated.

The concept is centered around protected turn lanes along the length of the road to keep traffic moving. The design also includes a new traffic light at the intersection of 14th Street and Quail Ridge Road. 

The berms on each side of the road will allow for sidewalks to be added to the stretch, pending an agreement with the city that will be presented in the coming months, Kincannon said.

The project is estimated to cost $15 million. It will extend the street’s resurfacing to Greenville Boulevard. Bike lanes, sidewalks and road widening will stop at Red Banks. 

Kincannon said the redesign allowed for NCDOT to compress the project but still meet the standards planned for increasing the road’s capacity. He said the project will not require the relocation of homeowners. The previous design would have displaced as many as 12.

He said the capacity upgrade comes mostly because of adding protected left turns, which allow for the travel lanes to remain moving at all times, meeting capacity expectations until 2040. 

“This road doesn’t have the traffic that Evans or Fire Tower have, and it’s not expected to be that same category of a road,” Kincannon said. “In all of these projects we want to go through it with the smallest footprint that we can, and this will enable us to this here.”

A public input meeting will be held from 4-7 p.m. on April 3 in the Community Schools and Recreation Center at Alice F. Keene District Park.

Following are details presented by DOT officials Monday about several other projects: 

10th Street Connector

The $59 million connector project extends 10th Street from Clark Street to Memorial Drive. It is expected to be open to open to traffic in November and is about 80 percent complete. The bridge over Dickinson Avenue is complete except for painting and minor parapet work, and sidewalks and curb construction is starting this month. In preparation for the project’s opening, Statonsburg Road and Memorial Drive will switch to new traffic alignments in June.

Southwest Bypass

The $200 million bypass, a four-lane, 12.6-mile freeway connecting N.C. 11 near Ayden to the U.S. 264 Bypass just west of Greenville, is expected to be open in June 2020. The project is about 53 percent complete. Work on 10 bridges over the length of the project is ongoing, and widening of U.S. 13 is to begin this spring. 

FireTower Road/Portertown Road

The $40 million widening project is scheduled to begin in 2020 after completion of the Southwest Bypass Project, with right-of-way acquisitions beginning this year. The project will expand both roads and eliminate left turns at major intersections on Fire Tower, creating a quadrant loop design that engineers hope will clear up congestion. 

Evans Street/Old Tar Road

The $37 million widening project is set for construction in 2020, with right-of-way acquisitions starting this year. A public meeting to brief residents of the projects effects is planned for later this year. The project will widen the road to four lanes between the intersection of Cooper Street and Worthington Road in Winterville to the intersection of N.C. 43 and Greenville Boulevard in Greenville.

Allen Road

The $25.4 million widening project is schedule for construction in 2021 with right-of-way acquisition starting this year. A public meeting to brief residents and local officials is scheduled for March 29. The project will widen 2.3 miles of Allen Road from a two-lane roadway to a four-lane, median-divided roadway from Stantonsburg Road to Dickinson Avenue in Greenville.

NC 43 widening

The approximately $31 million widening project is set for construction in 2022 with right-of-way acquisition starting in 2020. A public meeting to brief local officials and residents is slated for early this summer. The project will widen Charles Boulevard between Fire Tower Road and Worthington Road to a four-lane road with median controlled turns and some intersection improvements. 

West Fifth Street-Memorial Drive intersection

An approximately $1.5 million intersection upgrade is expected to begin in November. Right-of-way acquisition is ongoing. The project will make improvements to the intersection that NCDOT hopes will reduce traffic and make the intersection compatible with road expansions in the future. 

Tar River bridge project

An approximately $10 million bridge replacement project is scheduled to begin in 2020, following the completion of the Southwest Bypass. The project will completely replace the northbound bridge over the Tar River on Memorial Drive. During the course of the project, traffic will be diverted along the southbound bridge, utilizing one lane for each direction of travel.

Contact Seth Gulledge at Sgulledge@reflector.com and 329-9579. Follow him on Twitter @GulledgeSeth

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