The N.C. Department of Transportation has scheduled a meeting on proposed changes at the U.S. 70 entrances to Carolina Pines for 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Township Six Volunteer Fire Department.
The DOT has proposed several design changes to the main entrance to the subdivision at the intersection of U.S. 70 and Carolina Pines Boulevard. Changes are also proposed for two other nearby crossings of U.S. 70 that also provide access to the Carolina Pines subdivision as well as Lewis Farm Road.
The state has proposed to prohibit left turns from Carolina Pines Boulevard onto eastbound U.S. 70. At the same intersection, DOT proposes to broaden the deceleration lane from westbound U.S. 70 turning into Carolina Pines, allowing drivers exiting Carolina Pines better visibility. Left turns from U.S. 70 East into the neighborhood would still be permitted.
Drivers from the subdivision wanting to head east on U.S. 70 toward Havelock can either turn right from Carolina Pines Boulevard and make a U-turn, use the service road to access a crossing just west of the main subdivision entrance, or turn left on the service road and use a redesigned crossing just east of the main entrance where left turns would be permitted into an acceleration lane of U.S. 70 that is to be built.
DOT officials have said the redesigned intersections would increase safety at the intersection that saw 23 crashes that resulted in one fatality and eight injuries between 2007 and 2012.
During a meeting in March, about 90 residents attended, many of whom called for a traffic signal to be installed at the intersection. DOT officials said a traffic light would cause more problems for U.S. 70 drivers in what they called a rural area and would not be as safe as a redesign of the intersection. They pointed to redesigns of U.S. 70 intersections in Newport that they said increased safety in the area without the addition of traffic signals.
The project is estimated to cost $965,000, with construction planned to start as early as next month. Construction is estimated to take about two months.