On February 11, Moore County Board of Commissioners held a special joint meeting with the Town of Carthage Board of Commissioners at the Moore County Agricultural Center in Carthage.
The purpose of the meeting was to hold a public hearing and receive public comment on the proposed closure of one block of Dowd Road in Carthage. The specific area under consideration for closure is between the traffic circle and Saunders Street. The reason for the recommended closure is to accommodate the new Moore County court facility.
One hour prior to the start of the 5:30 p.m. meeting, the proposed new courthouse site plan was available for review.
Present at the meeting answering questions were traffic engineers, courthouse architects and representatives from Exult Engineering, the Raleigh based firm who conducted the traffic study, in addition to representation from NC DOT.
Two options were considered by Moore County. The options included keeping Dowd Street open for traffic or closing the street to traffic between Saunders and the courthouse.
The meeting was well attended by members of the public. It was estimated that 40 people attended the meeting.
Eight members of the public signed up to give comments, but only four actually provided public comment – the remaining individuals had indicated their questions were answered during the Q&A period.
Members of the public had questions regarding adequate parking and safety of pedestrians crossing the street.
Roland Gilliam, a local business owner, stated his concerns about big rig trucks and long RVs having adequate turning space. Gilliam is the owner of the Airport RV Park, Gilliam-McConnell Airfield and the building which houses the Pik n’ Pig restaurant.
“Some of the long RVs are 45 feet, plus some are pulling 30-foot trailers behind them,” said Gilliam.
“Some of the low boy trailers are 70 feet long, and the wheels are at the rear of trailer. That makes the turning radius greater. You can’t make the right hand turn onto Saunders street if there is a car at the stop sign. The turn to the left is also questionable if there is a car parked there. There are two stop signs on both sides of Dowd, but the signs are located on Saunders.”
According to Gilliam, representatives from the agencies agreed with his statement.
Gilliam’s suggested alternative was to take Dowd Road, make it a right turn and then go into the existing road at Rick Ryan Center and that would take you to McNeil Street, which could have a light put into place.
Richard C. Smith, Capital Project Manager for Moore County — “These two scenarios plus what Mr. Gilliam has outlined have been looked at by the county, and they have shown that these trucks can make these turns. Exult Engineering in Raleigh was hired to conduct a work study of the traffic concerning several intersections in the town of Carthage.”
Brittany Chase, P.E. (Professional Engineer) with Exult explained the traffic impact analysis that was carried out.
“After collecting existing impact data, our study shows minimal impact on the studied intersections. This included the intersections of Ray and McReynolds, Ray and Saunders, Saunders and Dowd, Saunders and McNeil, McNeil and Monroe and the traffic circle.
“Truck turn analysis was done – this analysis was done using standard software. We did do a truck turn analysis for longer trucks, and we found that these trucks can make these turns using the existing payment, however, they would not be able to make that turn if there was a passenger car in the opposing lane at the stop sign. The trucks would have to wait for the car to move before they could make their turn. That is what is going on today at that intersection.”
The Town of Carthage has the item on its Board Agenda for Monday, February 17, 2020. The meeting will be held at the McDonald Building located at 207 McReynolds Street in Carthage.
~Written by Sandhills Sentinel Reporter Maggie Sergio.
Photos via Town of Carthage.