Tucker Creek, MacDonald Downs, Hickman Hills residents to be affected

dot meeting

N.C. Department of Transportation and Havelock officials look over plans for the Slocum Road-U.S. 70 interchange.

Drew C. Wilson/Havelock News
Published: Friday, March 29, 2013 at 10:15 PM.

Havelock officials questioned initial design plans for the U.S. 70-Slocum interchange during a meeting with N.C. Department of Transportation officials Tuesday in Havelock.

Though Havelock officials have supported the idea of the flyover interchange as a way to reduce wrecks at the traffic signal that leads to Cherry Point’s back gate, DOT plans include major changes that would affect residents in Tucker Creek, MacDonald Downs and Hickman Hills.

DOT officials presented two plans to Havelock officials, and in both, the Slocum Road-U.S. 70 interchange is essentially the same, with eastbound traffic on U.S. 70 accessing the base via an exit ramp and elevated bridge over U.S. 70 West. Westbound drivers on U.S. 70 would peel off on a single-lane access road that would connect with Slocum Road.

Drivers leaving the base on Slocum Road heading west would be directed along a new access road that would meet up with U.S. 70 near the MacDonald Downs entrance, which is scheduled to close. Eastbound drivers could turn left via the traffic light.

MacDonald Downs drivers would use a new access road called Marsha’s Way that would link with Pine Grove Road, which goes between Wells Wayside Furniture and the West End Fire Station.

"I’m just looking at the issues that are going to be causing the most heartburn for the city," Havelock Mayor Jimmy Sanders said. "The fact that the only way in and out of MacDonald Downs is going to be down here at this traffic light is going to be difficult. If there was some way that we could extend the service road and allow traffic coming off the base to be able to make a right into MacDonald Downs, that would be helpful. The fact that every time they come out it’s going to add two miles to their trip is going to be a problem."

City officials also raised concerns with changes to traffic in Tucker Creek. One alternative presented Tuesday called for the closure of Sermons Boulevard and for traffic from Tucker Creek to be redirected to Marsha’s Way and the new Pine Grove Road. However, Matthew Potter, DOT project development engineer, said that those plans were not likely to happen and that Sermons Boulevard would likely continue to meet up with the service road as it does now.

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