SPRING LAKE — About four years ago, state transportation officials scrapped a plan they said could have eased traffic congestion in Spring Lake after several residents raised concerns.
With traffic still a problem, Department of Transport officials said there are plans underway that could help.
Cumberland County resident Lloyd Williams Jr. has lived in the area for more than 30 years and said traffic remains horrendous.
“People drive through Spring Lake like they’re on the highway,” Williams said last week.
He said that with the construction of Interstate 295, traffic in Spring Lake is like the fictional race town Radiator Springs in the Disney movie “Cars.”
“The big intersection in town was closed, so there are only two lanes left on either side of town,” Williams said.
NCs 24 and 87 and Highway 210 pass through Spring Lake.
Originally, the NCDOT proposed to extend Odell Road from North Bragg Boulevard in Spring Lake to Reilly Road in Fort Bragg.
During a public forum and open comment period by the North Carolina Department of Transportation in July 2018, the majority of residents raised concerns about increased traffic, safety, and declining traffic. property values, but most agreed that traffic was an issue.
Andrew Barksdale, a spokesman for the North Carolina Department of Transportation, said after the Odell Road project was abandoned, the state agency developed three improvement projects along the NC 24-87 corridor. to “not only help reduce congestion, but improve safety and help plan for future growth
Among the projects approved is a $3 million project intersection improvement project to create a second left turn lane on Nursery Road in neighboring Harnett County, so more vehicles can turn onto NC 87 when the signal is green. Contract award for the project is expected in the summer of 2024.
Despite plans proposed by the Department of Transportation for 2018 recommending another entry for Fort Bragg, Williams said he doesn’t believe another is needed.
“Open the original doors and do it,” he said.
Bragg Boulevard near Howell Street was once an open thoroughfare to the post, but permanently closed to traffic in August 2016 as road crews worked to widen NC 210 and Murchison Road as well as construct Interstate 295.
Some residents said nearby Fort Bragg isn’t the only feature bringing traffic into town. The main thoroughfare is also a route for commuters and truckers from more northerly points to use when heading into Fayetteville.
Resident Richard Weaver said he doesn’t think there is a traffic problem heading into Fort Bragg along Highway 87.
“The problem is Highway 87 and Manchester Road,” Weaver wrote in DOT’s public comments in 2018.
Average traffic on Bragg Boulevard near Manchester Road was about 37,000 vehicles per day in 2016, according to the state.
Barksdale said there was a plan to build a exchange with a bridge, ramps and loops at NC 87 and Manchester Road. Manchester Road is used as one of Fort Bragg’s access control points.
The project is estimated at $90 million and anticipates right-of-way acquisition to begin in 2029, but is currently unfunded in the Statewide Transportation Improvement Plan 2020-29Barksdale said.
Another plane is calling meimprovement NC 24 and NC 87from Manchester Road to NC 210 by adding access management such as medians or directional crossings.
Barksdale said the proposed project is not finalized and further pavement improvements are still under consideration.
Spring Lake Mayor Kia Anthony said last week that she hopes the plan will benefit Spring Lake residents, soldiers and Fort Bragg commuters.
“I drive in traffic every day – heading north and south, it’s a bit hectic,” Anthony said. “I would absolutely love for the DOT to revise the adjustment of our traffic patterns to make life a little easier.”
Engineers and staff from NCDOT Division 6, which is responsible for the Spring Lake area, and design consultants are also evaluating other potential projects that would address congestion along NC 24-87 from north of Manchester Road at the Spout Springs area in Harnett County. , Barksdale said.
“These potential projects will be submitted next year for possible funding,” Barksdale said, adding that they would compete with others in the region and state for funding under the improvement program. Statewide Transportation 2024-35.
Writer Rachael Riley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 910-486-3528.