A public meeting will take place Thursday from 4 to 7 p.m. at Yadkinville Elementary School regarding a proposed project to construct medians and several roundabouts along U.S. 601 from U.S. 421 to Lee Avenue in Yadkinville.
The purpose of the project is to improve mobility and safety along U.S. 601, according to North Carolina Department of Transportation officials. At the public meeting, the preliminary design for the project will be available for view and the public is asked to share input on the proposed design.
The public may attend at any time during the above mentioned hours. NCDOT representatives will be available to answer questions and listen to comments regarding the project. There will not be a formal presentation.
“Public comment is critical to this process. We want to hear from as many people as possible. We want to hear from those in favor as well as those who have different ideas,” said NCDOT Communications Director David Uchiyama.
A press release from NCDOT called the proposed project “innovative” and said the median and roundabouts “would eliminate T-bone crashes, reduce stopping time and enhance the appearance of the main entrance to Yadkinville.”
Crash report data compiled by NCDOT is a large part of the decision to make changes to the section of road, said NCDOT Division 11 Project Manager Dean Ledbetter. From 2012 to 2016, there were 172 crashes on the section of road from U.S. 421 to Lee Street in Yadkinville, with afternoon from 2 to 7 p.m. being the peak time for those wrecks. Ledbetter said that crash rate is more than twice the statewide rate.
“The proposed design would include a median island along U.S. 601 between U.S. 421 and Lee Street that would control movement so that we don’t end up with left-turn movement into all the driveways along that section and then we are proposing to construct roundabouts at the three intersections north of 421 at the northbound on and off ramps where Pine Street ties in and at Maple Street and Lee Street, which would give people opportunity to make a U-turn,” Ledbetter explained.
The term Super Street is what Ledbetter said is often used to describe a roadway with a center median island, this design is what he refers to as a Modified Super Street. Ledbetter said the inclusion of roundabouts to make it easier for drivers to make U-turns is what makes this particular project so unique.
The design has previously been presented to county and city officials who are in support of the new design. Ledbetter said the project is slated for construction in 2021.
Citizens are invited to the meeting from 4 to 7 p.m. at Yadkinville Elementary School, 305 N. State St. Transportation officials will be available to answer questions and receive comments.
Comments and questions are a critical part of project development and refining the proposal. Comments made by March 30 will be considered as a final decision is being made.
Contact Dean Ledbetter at firstname.lastname@example.org or 336-903-9129 or 801 Statesville Road, North Wilkesboro, NC 28659, to submit a comment or for additional information.
Plans can be viewed as they become available online at http://www.ncdot.gov/projects/publicmeetings.
Kitsey Burns Harrison may be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter and Instagram @RippleReporterK.