DOT Plans Traffic Circle Improvements
The Pinehurst Traffic Circle is getting a makeover.
Officials with the N.C. Department of Transportation (DOT) on Monday unveiled plans to make improvements to the structure that they say will improve safety for both motorists and workers and improve the look of the structure.
Ingle and Son Landscape will do the work, which is slated to start next Monday, weather permitting, for $98,905. The project is expected to be completed by January.
The project will move the current plantings out of the points of the four islands on each side of the Traffic Circle, replacing them with brick pavers.
The plants will be moved into the center of the islands. Both moves will improve sight lines for drivers and result in better safety for workers who will do the plantings and other routine maintenance.
Richard Hancock, the local division engineer for DOT, said the designs were done with input from the village and others. The final product, he said, will minimize the possibility for “errant” vehicles to destroy the plants, and the look “will replicate the character of downtown.” The central planting beds will also offer flexibility in terms of the size, type and color of plants that go there.
“I think this is going to be a great solution,” said Pinehurst Mayor Nancy Fiorillo. “I think it will be a wonderful enhancement for the 2014 Opens and beyond.”
Hancock said that with the scheduled completion date for the work well ahead of the Opens, it will give DOT officials plenty of time to cycle through some plantings and determine the best for both spring and fall.
Said Fiorillo, “We all agree on one thing: We want this to look great.”
The work is the second phase of proposed improvements to the Traffic Circle. Recently, the Village of Pinehurst thinned out the trees and vegetation from inside the Traffic Circle.
The work is among 13 DOT projects that are under way, or are expected to start soon in anticipation of the summer of 2014, when Pinehurst Resort hosts the 2014 U.S. Open and the U.S. Women’s Open in back-to-back weeks.
The largest of those projects is the ongoing widening of N.C. 211 from West End to the Pinehurst Traffic Circle, which is expected to be completed by May 2014.
Work on two other big projects, the U.S. 1– Morganton Road interchange in Southern Pines and the bridge work at U.S. 15-501 and N.C. 211 in Aberdeen, are expected to begin soon, likely within the next month. The contracts for both of those projects have been let, according to DOT officials.
DOT officials said they are aware of the importance of the U.S. Open to the entire state and have called all 13 pending projects “high priority.”
“We know the world is coming,” said Don Lee, DOT state roadside engineer.
Contact Tom Embrey at (910) 693-2484 or at email@example.com.
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