A proposed land-use plan would widen N.C. 43 into a four-lane, divided highway and add two roundabouts while keeping the area somewhat rural, according to county officials at a public input meeting on Monday.

James Rhodes, Pitt County planning director, said the N.C. 43 South Corridor Land Use Plan is a collaborative project between the county, the City of Greenville, the Greenville Urban Area Metropolitan Planning Organization and the North Carolina Department of Transportation. Stewart Inc. is the consultant for the project.

The project spans 9.5 miles, starting at the intersections of N.C. 43 and Fire Tower Road and ending south of Chicod School.

The plan call for NCDOT to change the segment of N.C. 43 between Bells Fork and Hollywood Crossroads into a four-lane divided highway. Roundabouts would be added at Signature Drive and Hollywood Crossroads.

Pitt County senior planner Eric Gooby said N.C. 43 would return to two lanes south of Hollywood Crossroads, near the PGSA soccer complex.

Changes to the corridor have been delayed two to three years due to financial difficulties at NCDOT, but Gooby said he doesn’t anticipate that plans for widening the roadway will be reworked.

Stewart planner Jay McLeod said the existing land use around the corridor is predominantly agricultural. Some land is zoned residential in the northern portion of the corridor, near Greenville. Mobile homes, multi-family, apartments, rural residences and commercial properties are spread throughout the corridor.

Allison Evans, also a planner with Stewart, said a survey was done to see community members’ values and goals for the corridor. There were more than 140 participants in the survey, which was open for over a month, and the respondents lived in the area or drove through regularly.

Respondents said they would like to see more businesses and traffic flow in the area, but valued the area’s rural character and affordability. Many respondents were concerned about new drivers adapting to the roundabout at Hollywood Crossroads since it is near D.H. Conley High School.

“What we gathered from this is we see the north as the area that could absorb more potential development than the southern area, and (in) the southern area, people would like it to remain rural and agricultural in character,” Evans said.

A second survey is available to the public to provide their input on the plan. Those interested can fill out the survey at www.pittcountync.gov/NC43SouthPlan.

After the public input process is complete, the proposal will go to the county’s planning board for recommendations, then to the Pitt County Board of Commissioners. It is expected the plan will be adopted in early 2021, Rhodes said.