WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – Big changes are planned for a major intersection in Wilmington and it’s all part of the 2014 voter-approved $44 million transportation bond.
Some of the projects have been completed already and now the city is moving forward with some big changes to the intersection on Pine Grove and Oleander drives.
The intersection is currently one of the more challenging ones for the city with the roadways intersecting closer to a 45-degree angle instead of a 90-degree one. The new design will completely remove the current intersection, and create a new intersection farther away from the College Road and Oleander Drive intersection, which is one of Wilmington’s worst.
The goal is to help improve traffic conditions and make the intersection safer for drivers since it’s currently a spot that sees plenty of accidents. In order to do this though, the city’s plans show a new road going through private property, meaning the city will have to acquire that land from its owners in order to complete the project.
Senior Project Engineer Jason Pace explained how that will work.
“There are four existing houses, with this realignment we will have to work with these property owners. We’ve already started communicating with them right now. We basically will pay them for their land that we need through this area,” he said.
The land acquisitions are expected to take around 9-12 months and once that is complete then construction plans can get underway, Pace explained.
The new project will also include dual left-turn lanes, Pace said, which will hopefully alleviate traffic congestion. As far as the existing section of Pine Grove Road, once this project is complete, it will no longer be open to traffic, but there will be a mixed-use path and bike path offering people access to Long Leaf Park as well as a safer way to traverse the intersection.
Right now the city is not quite halfway done with the design phase of the project, but they are inviting the public to weigh in and view the proposed improvements.
While the city is moving forward, it will still be some time before the final project is complete.
The city released the following aspirational schedule:
- 65% Design Plans Complete: Late Summer 2021
- Begin Right-of-Way Acquisition: Fall 2021
- Anticipate Completion of Right-of-Way Acquisition: Summer 2022
- Final Construction Documents: Summer 2022
- Begin Construction: Fall 2022 ( duration of approximately 12 months)
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