Road projects remain on target
The Daily Reflector
Wednesday, January 23, 2019
A half dozen road projects expected to alter the course of driving in the Greenville area remain on schedule, and two of the largest are expected to open before the year is out, a Department of Transportation official said.
The 10th Street Connector project remains on schedule to open in the late spring, and work on the Southwest Bypass is moving well for a fall opening, Jeff Cabaniss, Division 2 project development engineer, said during a telephone interview on Friday
The connector is a $30 million project to extend 10th Street from Dickinson Avenue to Memorial Drive, incorporating Farmville Boulevard. It will provide a direct route from the main campus of East Carolina University to the city’s medical district and ECU’s medical campus.
The project included the acquisition and demolition of properties along the corridor, from Evans Street through west Greenville. The city has asked the Department of Transportation to name the connector for former ECU Chancellor Leo W. Jenkins and a bridge over Dickinson Avenue in honor of pioneering physician Andrew Best.
Roadwork began in 2015 and most of what remains involves paving the section along Farmville Boulevard between 14th Street and Memorial, Cabaniss said. Crews soon will direct traffic to the outer lanes of that section and begin paving the center lanes. Finishing the work will require a few dry days and temperatures consistently warm enough for paving.
“It’s going to be weather-dependent to finish up the surfacing,” Cabaniss said. The project is scheduled to finish before the start of summer in June, but could be done sooner if the weather cooperates.
The $239.8 million project to build the interstate-quality Southwest Bypass from U.S. 264 west of Greenville to N.C. 11 south of Ayden also is in the short rows, Cabaniss said.
Structural work to overpasses and interchanges along the route — including U.S. 264 Alt., Forlines Road and N.C. 102 — is completed and drivers traveling on N.C. 11 South near Ayden already roll over part of the new interchange there.
Most of what’s left is building up the roadway with dirt and stone then paving, Cabaniss said.
“It’s a lot of truck loads so it takes a while,” he said.
Construction began in 2015, with a completion date set for the summer of 2020, but the builder remains on track for an earlier opening in the fall.
Cabaniss also provided updates on other projects in the works including:
■ Fire Tower-Portertown: Right of way acquisition is expected to begin in the spring to widen Fire Tower and Porter Town roads to four lanes with a median between 10th Street and Charles Boulevard. The project also includes reconfiguration of the intersections of Fire Tower and Charles Boulevard and Fire Tower and Arlington Boulevard. The new traffic pattern will eliminate many left-turns at those intersections. Construction on the estimated $53.3 million project is expected to begin in 2020.
■ Evans-Old Tar: Right of way acquisition is expected to begin soon to widen Evans Street/Old Tar Road from Greenville Boulevard to Worthington Road. The $53.6 million project is expected to begin in the spring of 2021. Some preliminary phases at Old Tar and Worthington roads are scheduled to start next month, according to Winterville’s electric director Robert Sutton. The town and Greenville Utilities must relocate utility lines to accommodate the project, Sutton told the Town Council this month.
■ Allen Road: Right of way acquisition to build a four-lane, median-divided roadway between Greenville Boulevard and Stantonsburg Road. The work is ahead of schedule, and construction on the $28.39 million project could begin prior to its scheduled start in the summer of 2021.
■ 14th Street: Right of way acquisition to widen 14th Street between Fire Tower and Red Banks road is scheduled to begin late this summer. Initially proposed as a four-lane road, the project was changed to improve the two-lane road with median-controlled turns, bike lanes, sidewalks and intersection improvements. Work on the $12.5 million project won’t begin until the Fire Tower-Portertown project is completed.
Several other projects also are in the works.
Once the 10th Street Connector is completed, the state will begin work to upgrade Dickinson Avenue from Memorial Drive to Reade Circle, including work to repair drainage along the roadway, replace material under the pavement and repave the roadway.
There also are plans to upgrade the intersection of Memorial Drive and West Fifth Street and replace the northbound Tar River Bridge on Memorial Drive.
The four other N.C. 11 bridges between Third Street and the Pitt-Greenville Airport will be resurfaced.