Design

An early design for a roundabout at the intersection of Live Oak Street and Highway 101 shows the single-lane traffic flow that is the current plan for the project. (Contributed photo)

BEAUFORT — Construction of a roundabout at the intersection of Live Oak Street and Highway 101 could start late in the calendar year, according to N.C. Department of Transportation Division Project Manager Rachelle Beauregard.

Ms. Beauregard has worked on the project since its early planning stages.

While the project is still in a planning stage, officials are focusing on finalizing right-of-way acquisition plans, according to Ms. Beauregard. 

“We anticipate those being complete toward the end of the month and into early February,” she said, adding that right-of-way acquisition would begin next month.

Adjacent property owners should start receiving notification letters soon.

The effort has been underway for a number of years, according to Ms. Beauregard, who said NCDOT’s Rural Planning Organization got in contact with the town to determine what kind of project they wanted completed in Beaufort.

“They put together what project they wanted to bring forward in their long-range transportation plans,” Ms. Beauregard said.

Officials had to choose from a number of possible plans, which included a roundabout with multiple lanes. Currently, project officials are planning a single-lane roundabout.

 “The purpose of the proposed project is to improve mobility at the intersection of Live Oak Street (US 70) and NC 101,” according to NCDOT.

 “The roundabout would improve traffic flow for through traffic on Live Oak Street and reduce delays in traffic turning on and off of NC 101.”

The project is estimated to cost $1,116,000, though Ms. Beauregard said these figures are based on a 2018 estimate. Construction, at $816,000 accounts for the bulk of the project’s cost, while costs related to right-of-way acquisition and utilities are expected to come in at $200,000 and $100,000, respectively.

Ms. Beauregard said, while the state will handle the majority of the costs, Beaufort is expected to make some additions, like adjacent sidewalks.

“It’s a state-funded project,” Ms. Beauregard said. “The town has cost-share when it comes to certain criteria for utilities or improvements, such as adding sidewalks and things of that nature.”

 The timeline for the project is not yet concrete.

“February is when we expect land owners might be getting contacted,” Ms. Beauregard said. “Right now we plan to (start the construction bidding process) in October of 2020.”

Ms. Beauregard added that while it is largely dependent on the individual contractor, she is confident construction will start soon after the bidding process is complete.

Contact Dean-Paul Stephens at 252-726-7081, ext. 232; email Dean@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter @DeanPEStephens.

(5) comments

Core Sounder

Us old timers will probably feel a heck of a lot safer with the stop light. Probably be a lot safer as well.

Osprey

Traffic light is adequate at the intersection. DOT should instead focus on improving the bypass intersection @ 70/101

ncjake2000

Can't spend enough of taxpayers money by just maintaining a stop light. Considering the brilliant engineering used @ 70/101 intersection....how could this roundabout not be an improvement? Scary huh?

Difficult to imagine a right turn lane on eastbound 70 at the 70/101 intersection.

rooster

Exactly. The DOT engineers seem to be sitting around dreaming up new BS. They have no time to design sensible projects because they evidently are too busy doing things like the brain child did who spent their time coming up with the idea of changing most of the speed limits east of Beaufort from 55 mph to 50 mph. We spend millions of dollars in new bridges and bypasses in the name of moving traffic along efficiently and safely and as soon as the projects are complete they drop the speed limits. All along hwy 70 and Harkers Island road what has always been 55 mph...I mean on straight stretches of road with no major intersections or busy entrances..what? I guess it's to feed the ticket monster. I personally am a speed limit follower but even I find it hard to maintain 50 on a straight road with no traffic. Since this change the traffic passing those of us trying to obey the law has increased 200%. It has caused much more of a dangerous safety situation and is total stupidity and not necessary.

Hambiscuit

Probly one of them Cherrie Point graduate engineers

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