The District 2 office of the N.C. Department of Transportation, with main offices in Clinton and covering Sampson and Duplin counties, is submitting requests to the state for funding for a number of “small construction” projects in the district. The DOT asked that a resolution of support from the Board of Commissioners accompany project requests in excess of $150,000.
County staff drafted a resolution in support of the Priority 2 project, improvements to Butler Island Road (SR 1246) in anticipation of the construction of Charles E. Perry School, and for the Priority 4 project, encompassing Beaman Street. Both projects request $250,000, the maximum allowed in a fiscal year from a small construction project.
“These (projects) would have been submitted even without the board’s review, but projects in excess of $150,000, the DOT asks for a letter of support, so we drafted a letter supporting these projects,” said assistant county manager Susan Holder. “As you all know, Butler Island would carry the majority of the traffic to the new C.E. Perry.”
The resolution adopted this week by the county board states that the Priority 2 project, widening, resurfacing and draining improvements to Butler Island Road from N.C. 242 to the Cumberland County line, about three miles, is “necessary to ensure the safe and efficient traffic egress from the site on which the new Charles E. Perry School will be constructed.”
Property owners in the area have previously raised concerns of the high volume of traffic that will come with the addition of the school, and the adverse effects it will have on the narrow roadway. Traffic volume will significantly increase with buses and faculty and parent vehicles, DOT officials said. The average daily traffic numbers, which currently stand at 1,500, are expected to double when the new C.E. Perry opens.
The total estimated cost of the Butler Island project is $548,083.20.
Board chairman Jefferson Strickland called the Butler Island endeavor a “much needed project.”
According to the county, there is a similar need for the Priority 4 project, which includes widening, resurfacing and drainage improvements to Beaman Street from SR 1356 to the Beaverdam Branch bridge. The project “will improve traffic flow along a major access road for Sampson Regional Medical Center, and the ancillary medical facilities on that roadway.”
DOT said due to the type of traffic now utilizing the street, a traffic flow problem has been created. The traffic, DOT officials said, is likely the result of the expansion of the hospital, EMS and the addition of several new medical offices surrounding the facility.
The estimated cost of the Beaman Street project is $351,184.35.
Clinton mayor Lew Starling, in a letter to DOT, said the funds would be used for a three-lane curb and gutter section, as well as drainage improvements from North Boulevard south toward Sampson Regional.
“This project would be of benefit to our area due to the fact it would greatly benefit the citizens of Sampson County and our region when trying to reach Sampson Regional Medical Center,” stated Starling. “It is our goal to continue to improve and upgrade all thoroughfares within our community, and the successful completion of (the Beaman Street project) would, without question, benefit our entire community and region.”
The Board of Commissioners unanimously adopted the resolution supporting District 2’s request for funding for the two projects. Aside from the two that were the subject of the county’s letter of support, there are five other projects in the district for which the DOT is seeking small construction funds — three in Duplin, two more in Sampson.
The projects in Sampson include widening the turn radius and making drainage improvements to SR 1232 in Clinton and drainage, curb and gutter work on N.C. 24 in Autryville. The estimated costs for the projects are $77,923 and $126,422, respectively, all of which is being sought from the state.
The Duplin projects include widening, resurfacing and drainage improvements to N.C. 11 and catch basin upgrades to N.C. 24, both in Kenansville. The estimated costs for the N.C. 11 project are $293,135, of which $250,000 is being requested, and $245,101 for the N.C. 24 project, all of which is being requested. The third Duplin project encompasses drainage improvements to SR 1152 in Wallace, for which DOT is requesting the entire estimated cost of $95,083.
Chris Berendt can be reached at 910-592-8137, ext. 121, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.