Several road construction projects will occur this summer in the southern portion of the Chapel Hill and Carrboro community that will bring infrastructure benefits valued at more than $11 million, after the dust clears.
The Town of Chapel Hill has assembled a team to manage the projects and communicate traffic information helpful to all community members and visitors throughout the summer. These projects have been planned for the slower summer season.
Of course they will be a nuisance no matter when they happen but we intend to keep our downtown community updated on the projects with thorough information.
Upcoming construction projects include the following:
1. South Columbia Street Widening Project: This NC Department of Transportation (NCDOT) project widens a 0.8-mile section of NC 86/South Columbia Street to include a center turn lane and bus pullouts, improving safety and the flow of traffic in the area. Sidewalks and bike lanes will be added to both sides of the road, improving safety for pedestrians and bicyclists and maintaining the character of Chapel Hill. The $4.6 million project began in November 2012 and is expected to be completed by July 2014. Traffic Impact: S. Columbia Street will become one-way northbound from Fordham Boulevard to Manning Drive from May 13 to August 13, 2013.
2. Smith Level Road Widening Project: This NC Department of Transportation (NCDOT) project will improve a section of Smith Level Road in Carrboro. The section of highway slated for improvement is between Rock Haven Road and the bridge over Morgan Creek south of NC 54. The plan is to widen this section of Smith Level Road to include bike lanes, sidewalks and turn lanes with a center median. In addition, a roundabout is planned for the intersection of Rock Haven Road and Smith Level Road. Construction starts in March 2013 and is estimated to be complete in June 2014. A $4.9 million contract was awarded to Yates Construction Co. Inc. Traffic Impact: Lane closures from March 2013 to June 2014.
3. Morgan Creek Trail Extension: This Town of Chapel Hill project will construct about 1,200 linear feet of trail with two bridges and an underpass of Culbreth Road. When completed, the combined Fan Branch Morgan Creek Trails will be the longest paved trail system in Orange County and will allow unbroken travel from the Southbridge neighborhood to the Southern Community Park. The trail will also serve Southern Village and Scroggs School. A spur trail provides access to Merritt's Pasture. In order to install the pedestrian tunnel under Culbreth Road it will be necessary to close the eastern end of Culbreth Road. This closure is necessary to install a segmented concrete tunnel in time to reopen the road for the 2013-14 school year. This project is valued at about $1.46 million. Traffic Impact: Culbreth Road closure from June to Aug. 25, 2013.
4. OWASA/UNC E. Cameron Project: The $829,000 project will install a single water main to replace three 60 to 85-year old water mains along 800 feet of E. Cameron Avenue between Columbia Street and Memorial Hall. The project will also install two new UNC chilled water mains in this same area of E. Cameron Avenue. OWASA and UNC are collaborating on this work. Construction is planned to begin in mid-May immediately following UNC spring commencement and is expected to last three months. Traffic Impact: Closure of portion of E. Cameron Avenue from May 13 to Aug. 14, 2013.