Commissioners hear NCDOT projects, approve budget, talk Land Use Plan

The Moore County Board of Commissioners reviewed roadway changes at its June 20 meeting.

North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) Division 8 Maintenance Engineer Matt Kitchen presented a roadway project review.

Kitchens said the main safety project was in Pinehurst. NCDOT will construct a southbound right turn lane on U.S. Highway 15-501 at Memorial Drive and revise the existing traffic signal at the intersection.

NCDOT will realign Page Road, approaching U.S. Highway 15-50, and construct exclusive left and right turn lanes on Page Road. It will build a southbound right turn lane and northbound left turn lane on U.S. Highway 15-501 and install a new traffic signal at the intersection.

Bids for construction begin July 25.

Construction on other projects is delayed until after the 2024 U.S. Open, but they are clearing property now in preparation.

“We will hit the ground running,” Kitchens said.

The 5726 Project on N.C. Highway 211 in West End is under Fred Smith Construction Company, and they are now clearing, demolishing buildings, relocating utilities and installing erosion control devices.

Chairman Nick Picerno asked about rerouting traffic on Holly Grove School Road.

“No. Roads will be open,” Kitchens said.

The project on N.C. Highway 211, between Aberdeen and Raeford, is underway with clearing, and construction should be complete by March 2024.

The 3628 Project on N.C. Highway 24-27 in Carthage includes an upgrade from McNeill Road with a three-lane section and bike and pedestrian right of way. It is scheduled for completion by the end of next summer.

The U.S. Highway 1 and 15-501 project in Southern Pines and Aberdeen begins in 2025. It runs from Roseland Road to Brucewood Road and is an access management intersection improvement project.

A project on N.C. Highway 5 includes widening to a four-lane between U.S. Highway 1 and Sand Pit Road. It is due for completion in May 2025.

The N.C. Highway 690 to Cumberland County line project is an upgrade to add turning lanes, add shoulder and a turnaround. It begins in October.

Project 5927 on U.S. Highway 15-501 plans to widen to multi-lanes to N.C. Highway 73. It begins in 2025 and expects completion in 2027.

Improvements to the traffic circle and approaches on U.S. Highway 15-501 at Gilmore Lane to Page Road begin in 2028.

Other projects include:

*A bridge replacement at N.C. Highway 22 at Nicks Creek

*Installation of more turning lanes on U.S. Highway 15-501 and Morganton Road

*Realignment of Carolina and Calloway intersection with an all-way stop

*Lane modifications on U.S. Highway 15-501 and N.C. Highway 24-27

*Realignment of Morganton Road at N.C. Highway 5 intersection

*Evaluating the installation of an all-way stop at N.C. Highway 22 and McCaskill Road

*Evaluating the installation of a directional crossover and U-turn bulbs on U.S. Highway 1 at Youngs Road

At the June 22 special meeting, commissioners adopted the 2023-2024 Budget Ordinance, beginning July 1.

It is a balanced budget of $213,665,349 without an increased tax burden.

County Manager Wayne Vest said the budget served every citizen.

The budget provides services for law enforcement and emergency services, education, the library system, sports complex, transportation, the senior center, water and sewer, veterans, and people without homes.

“Not raising taxes and keeping money in people’s pockets,” Commissioner Jim Von Canon said in appreciation to the Budget Task Force because he was concerned for many citizens trying to buy groceries.

Chair Nick Picerno called for a work session to discuss combining the task forces on the water and sewer systems and the Unified Development Ordinance following the June 22 budget special meeting.

“A lot of things looked like a good place to grow, but no sewer or water,” Picerno said about updating the Land Use Plan.

The Land Use Plan must be updated every five to 10 years, and it is year 10.

“Keep rural integrity,” Picerno said.

“For someone to build twenty miles out and not have any water puts us in a bind and is not very user-friendly to the engineers,” Commissioner Jim Von Canon said.

“Moore County is not going to shrink. My district five, the mayor would like to see it come off septic and wells. No one’s detracting someone else from going forward,” Commissioner Kurt Cook said.

The commissioners said they need a vacation and will look at a date in August for a work session on the Land Use Plan.

Feature photo: The NCDOT Division 8 Maintenance Engineer Matt Kitchen presents a rendering of the Page and Memorial Roads safety project on June 20, 2023, at the Moore County Board of Commissioners meeting—image from NCDOT.

~Written by Sandhills Sentinel journalist Stephanie M. Sellers; BS Mass Communications and Journalism, MFA Creative Writing.

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