The controversial super street project planned for U.S. Highway 1 and 15-501 in Aberdeen and Southern Pines has been delayed for at least four years. Some say that’s good news for many businesses and homeowners along the affected corridor where work was supposed to begin next year.
There has long been controversy about the super street style of highway widening. The style involves raised concrete medians that do not allow for left turns, except at designated areas. This would involve traffic lights being installed at which drivers could make U-turns to go the other way.
The impact on residential areas along the corridor should be minimal, but some say the potential impact on businesses could be devastating. When the widening took place on Hwy 211, it had catastrophic effects on a number of small businesses along 211. The project is slated to take two full years to complete.
The other question business owners face is whether a potential customer is willing to drive past the business to the next designated turnaround and drive back to the business. Many worry that potential customers will just frequent the business that is on their side of the street as they drive. Will they go to all that trouble to turn around and go back to their initial business destination, if a similar one is easy to get to?
This delay may allow town officials more time to work through the issues with the current design. Now there will be time to get through the two upcoming golf championships before construction begins.
The NCDOT construction delays are reportedly due to budgetary issues, due in large part to the hurricane disaster response. Normally, the state incurs expenses of $60 million per year for disasters, but the past hurricane season required over $300 million.
There are other DOT projects in Moore county that are affected by the delays. You can read them in the full report. Moore county is part of Division 8 which begins on page 401. Make sure you read page 2 to understand how to read the report. Click here.
~Written by Sandhills Sentinel Publisher B.J. Goodridge.