Contractors, DOT Expect to Complete Work on Time
The chimes at The Village Chapel are being drowned out by the drone and beeping of bulldozers as construction on the Pinehurst roundabout hits full throttle.
Crews from the N.C. Department of Transportation (NCDOT) and Boggs Paving, the Monroe-based firm contracted for the project, have been working for several weeks. Bulldozers have been pushing massive amounts of earth as part of the grading needed to prepare the site for paving.
A few hundred yards down the road, close to the N.C. 2/N.C. 5 intersection, a giant backhoe dug a huge hole for storm drainage. Dirt was piled up along the orange perimeter fence that outlines the construction site.
Village Manager Andy Wilkison told The Pilot that construction was running smoothly and moving at a fast clip. He expects the construction to be completed on schedule, by Oct. 17.
"They're working hard on it," he said.
Wilkison said crews had been installing the storm drainage last week. He said that the grading work on the site was "very far along" and it looked like the contractor could begin paving soon.
Some downtown merchants had raised concerns earlier that the closure of N.C. 2 near the construction site could be keeping some customers away.
Soon after construction began, Wilkison said the village received a number of complaints regarding the detour signs because motorists incorrectly thought it was impossible to get to the village business district.
To address the problem, he said that the village has put up more signage to indicate that residents can access the downtown by following proper detour routes.
Wilkison said the complaints have subsided for the most part and in fact he is getting mostly positive feedback from the public.
"I'm getting very positive responses from people," he said, adding that many residents are excited that the project is under way and will be completed in a relatively short period of time.
The roundabout project is designed to increase public safety by eliminating the dangerous intersection of N.C. 2 and Carolina Vista in the village. Increased traffic in the village made the intersection even more problematic for drivers.
The roundabout has been a controversial issue in the village. Concerned Citizens of Pinehurst (CCP) attempted to block construction for months, arguing that it would damage the historical nature of the village. The organization said the NCDOT needed a certificate of appropriateness from the village's historical commission. It took the village to court.
A Moore County Superior Court judge ruled that NCDOT was not subject to the authority of a local body such as the historical commission. CCP filed an appeal with the N.C. Court of Appeals. Last month, CCP filed another suit seeking to halt construction until its appeal could be heard by the state appeals court, which would have been long after the project was completed. A Superior Court judge denied CCP's request, and the Court of Appeals upheld the ruling. CCP has since withdrawn all of its appeals.
Initial work began this summer when Pinehurst Resort began to relocate trees. Construction work began last month after the U.S. Amateur ended.
Wilkison said another project near the intersection of N.C. 2 and N.C. 5 is also moving along and is expected to be completed by mid-November. Wider turn lanes and signals are being installed there to improve the safety of that intersection.
Contact John Krahnert III at 693-2473 or by e-mail at email@example.com
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