Sandhills_Sentinel

Southern Pines officials are reminding people not to drive on closed roads. In a Thursday news release, the town reported motorists ignoring road closure signs at the new roundabout being installed at Midland Road and Central Drive/N.C. 22, near U.S. Highway 1.

“Reports from NCDOT are that individuals are circumventing barriers, ignoring warning signage, and traversing the area,” said the news release. “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.”

The town said the full closure to motorist and pedestrians will ensure safety and efficiency.

“While recognizing the inconvenience to those that typically travel Midland Road as part of their daily routine, this full closure significantly decreases the period of time delays would be necessary as part of the roundabout installation,” said officials. “Removing all traffic from the vicinity improves both project safety and efficiency.”

The overall goal of the roundabout is to improve safety on this stretch of Midland Road, where traffic is expected to nearly double to an average of 28,000 daily trips by 2040.

The $2.8 million project began in early June, and Barnhill Contracting Co. is expected to complete the construction by Oct. 1.

The contractor closed Midland Road on both sides of the intersection with Central Drive from June 17 until Aug. 31.

During this time, Midland Road traffic will follow 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 public’s patience and understanding is greatly appreciated,” said the town.

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