Craven County residents concerned about proposed intersection changes on U.S. 70

Craven County residents concerned about proposed intersection changes on U.S. 70

HAVELOCK, CRAVEN COUNTY - Tempers ran high and many Havelock residents aren't happy about a potential change to their roadways.

People voiced their concerns at a meeting Tuesday night, as the North Carolina Department of Transportation explained intersection changes on U.S. 70.

The main part of the project is the construction of a bridge that will cross over westbound Highway 70 for drivers to access Slocum Road and Cherry Point.

The intersection at Tucker Creek and Hickman Hills will also see changes. The new design would eliminate left turns out of the neighborhoods and drivers would not be able to go directly across the highway. Instead drivers would turn right and use a U-turn access to get to the other side.

DOT Project Development Engineer Matthew Potter said the proposed project will improve traffic flow and access to Cherry Point.

"Ultimately the whole intersection will operate with fewer delays than your typical intersection with all the phases at one spot," said Potter.

According to DOT Slocum Road sees an average of 11,000 vehicles a day. Officials said the intersection of U.S. 70 and Slocum Road has become too congested and no longer safe.

Barbara Whitman has lived in Havelock since 1965. She said she doesn't agree with this idea and thinks it will cause more problems.

"I just think it's a big waste of money especially in these times when everyone is so in debt and this just isn't a good idea," said Whitman.

DOT officials said the project is estimated to cost $20.5 million.

Potter said they will take the public comments into consideration, and final plans will be announced later this summer.

The DOT plans to start construction in the summer of 2015.

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