Construction crews have begun working nights on N.C. 24 in Clinton near Sampson Community College, leading to road closures in the heart of an area where travel delays are already being experienced from the city limits to the U.S. 421/701 bypass.
N.C. Department of Transportation (DOT) personnel will be working on N.C. 24 (Sunset Avenue) in the area of the college for an extended period of time. Work began in earnest on Tuesday night and will be ongoing for an “indefinite period of time,” city officials have announced, relaying DOT missives.
City manager Shawn Purvis said local officials were notified Tuesday of the imminent plan. Work will extend from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. for the duration.
“We do not have a timeline for the completion of this section but it will be better at night to limit the amount of affected traffic with the lane closures,” Purvis said. “That is a difficult spot because there is no good way around it unless you come and go out Five Bridge Road.”
Of the 40-mile, approximately $400 million N.C. 24 improvement project, 34 miles has been funded. The project will implement a four-lane roadway stretching from Cumberland County through nearly all of Sampson County, specifically to Moltonville.
Segments A and B have already brought a significant facelift to Cumberland and western Sampson. Segments C and D are both completely in Sampson, with C extending from Dowdy Road to SR 1303 (Mitchell Loop Road) and D going from Mitchell Loop Road to U.S. 421/701 Bypass (Faircloth Freeway).
The Fred Smith Company Construction is handling those C and D segments, which combine for a $88.5 million project area that includes 16 miles of highway construction, eight new bridges, 78,000 linear feet of curb and gutter, 60,000 linear feet of water and sewer line, 72,000 linear feet of storm drainage and 370,000 tons of asphalt.
That work began back in October 2013 and has a completion date set at March 2018.
Segment E, just approved for funding earlier this year, will extend from the Faircloth Freeway bypass to west of Moltonville Road. At a cost of $28 million, right of way acquisition for that segment will start in 2017-18 around the time the two other Sampson segments expect to be finalized.
In recent budget discussions, Purvis noted the impact of N.C. 24 work on local sales tax revenues and its anticipated effect on the city’s growth going forward.
Housing development has boomed, he stated, with the current construction of a 72-unit apartment complex and 23 single-family and duplex units representing more than three times as many housing units than the city added between the 2000 and 2010 censuses.
“The N.C. 24 widening project will have a positive effect on Clinton,” he stated this week in his budget message. “N.C. DOT projects 30,000 vehicles a day on the road, and it should reduce the travel time to the Fayetteville Metro Area (380,000 population) by half, to 30 minutes. The project has spurred minor commercial growth to date, and the city should experience more growth as road construction nears completion in early 2018.”
Reach Managing Editor Chris Berendt at 910-249-4616. Follow the paper on twitter @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.