Havelock business owners push for new turn lane in median

Published: Monday, January 20, 2014 at 09:18 AM.

The N.C. Department of Transportation is open to at least looking at the possibility of creating a new turn lane through the median on East Main Street.

Dwayne Alligood, DOT engineer, said that the state met with engineer Susan Sayger, who is representing several Havelock businesses, about creating a left-turn lane from East Main Street to Charles Boulevard where the Expressway drive-through convenience store is located.

Nick Patel, an outspoken critic of the median that he has said is hurting his business, owns the Expressway and is one of the owners pushing for the turn lane.

Alligood said the DOT is not committed to creating the turn lane. He said the business owners would need to have a qualified traffic engineering firm do an evaluation that shows such a turn lane would not have a negative effect on traffic flow before it would even be considered.

“We’re not committing to anything at this point,” he said. “We’ve already told the city of Havelock that before anything gets done we’d be looking for their support prior to changing anything if we are to go in that direction.”

Alligood said the study, paid for by the local businesses, would look at traffic volume, turning movements and the number of people that would be making the turn. Before the median was constructed in 2011, Charles Street was often used by residents along Webb Boulevard and surrounding streets to access their neighborhoods.

“We’re focused on the mobility along 70,” Alligood said, referring to East Main Street. “If you can maintain the mobility along U.S. 70 and improve access, then most likely we’re going to support that. But if it improves access but is detrimental to the mobility along U.S. 70, then we’re going to have some concerns about that.”

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