Not all drivers on Midland Road are heeding the detour that’s in place while construction is underway on the new roundabout at the Central Drive (N.C. 22) intersection and nearby U.S. 1 interchange.
The project requires a full closure of this section of Midland Road for both motorists and pedestrians during the 75-day construction period.
“Reports from NC-DOT are that individuals are circumventing barriers, ignoring warning signage, and traversing the area,” said Southern Pines Town Manager Reagan Parsons. “With the project, requiring heavy equipment, progressing and changing daily, such activity poses a danger to both the public and contractors working at the site.”
“Warnings signs and detours must be followed,” he said.
The detour directs traffic to Pee Dee Road to access Central Drive, and West Pennsylvania Avenue to U.S. 1 through Southern Pines to access to Midland Road on the east side of the work zone.
The full closure detour was implemented because it significantly decreases the period of time delays would be necessary as part of the roundabout installation.
“Removing all traffic from the vicinity improves both project safety and efficiency. The public’s patience and understanding is greatly appreciated,” Parsons said.
The project is one of many safety improvements recommended in the comprehensive Midland Road Corridor Study. The roundabout and access improvements at the U.S. 1 interchange were singled out early in the planning process by DOT because of significant safety concerns at these intersections.
Barnhill Contracting Co. was awarded the $2.8 million contract earlier this year.
Construction work began in early June, and Midland Road has been closed on either side of the intersection with Central Drive since June 17. The road is expected to reopen Aug. 31.