Pittsboro traffic circle construction to finish 6 weeks early

Posted 8/25/21

PITTSBORO — Pittsboro’s traffic circle renovation project is nearing completion ahead of schedule, seven months after work began, according to Pittsboro Town Manager Chris Kennedy.

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Pittsboro traffic circle construction to finish 6 weeks early

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PITTSBORO — Pittsboro’s traffic circle renovation project is nearing completion ahead of schedule, seven months after work began, according to Pittsboro Town Manager Chris Kennedy.

The historic roundabout will not close to through traffic as it did from winter through early summer, Kennedy said in the board of commissioners’ regular meeting Monday, but individual lane closures may slow vehicles as road crews install final layers of pavement.

“Most of the paving that’s not done at night ­— if it’s done during the day ­— will be conducted via lane shifts,” he said. “So the traffic circle will remain open, but the lanes will be shifted.”

Tractor trailers may have difficulty navigating the narrowed path, but “they’re supposed to be diverting the circle anyhow,” Kennedy said.

The iconic traffic circle’s functional and aesthetic overhaul began in January to make it safer for pedestrians and drivers. The $2.48 million project has included milling and resurfacing of the circle and about 250 feet of roadway stemming from it in each direction. The joint venture between NCDOT and the town is being performed by Carolina Sunrock LLC of Raleigh.

Completion was scheduled for late October of this year, but workers are on track to finish six weeks early. After laying pavement through Tuesday, crews will allow the road to cure before performing final touch-ups in mid-September.

“Presuming everything goes well,” Kennedy said, “they’re looking to come back in on Friday, September 17, and Saturday, September 18, if need be, to do all the decorative crosswalks on that new asphalt surface as well as apply any other painting or thermo.”

The traffic circle carries U.S. 15-501 and U.S. 64 Business through the heart of Pittsboro. Its enhancement is the first phase of a broader project to improve about two miles of U.S. 15-501 in Pittsboro, widening and constructing roadway and streetscape improvements between south of U.S. 64 Business and Powell Place Lane near the bypass. Proceeds from the sale of Build NC bonds were earmarked to pay for $1.5 million of the construction of the first phase.

Other meeting news

The board of commissioners voted on two annexation requests, approved a preliminary plat and discussed Chatham Park’s small area plan in its regular meeting Monday, but deferred some agenda points in the interest of time.

The board also entertained a presentation from the N.C. Dept. of Transportation on design alternatives for the North Chatham Park Way, which threatens to bisect the private North Woods community. See full coverage of the presentation and its ensuing discussion in this edition.

• The commissioners approved an annexation request from The Rexford Group Ltd, for about 197 acres west of Old Graham Road and north of the U.S. Hwy. 64 Bypass. The request was previously subject to a legislative public hearing first opened at the board’s July 26 meeting and continued to its August 9 meeting.

• The board approved an annexation request from ECO Northwood MUPD LLC for 2.89 acres along the northwest corner of U.S. Hwy. 15-501 and the U.S. Hwy 64 Bypass. The board conducted a legislative public hearing on the request at its August 9 regular meeting.

• The board also approved a preliminary plat at ECO Northwood MUPD LLC’s request for 34.78 acres. The property will be divided into eight lots to be used for commercial, retail, residential and open space.

• Chatham Park Investors’ small area plan for the 2,225-acre North Village has been the topic of frequent discussion at board of commissioner meetings. The small area plan would cover 11 of 27 sections which will make up the entire 7,068-acre Chatham Park development, according to the Chatham Park master plan.

In each discussion, members of the public and the board have taken issue with various facets of the small area plan including the environmental impact it permits and several design features. In Monday’s meeting, the commissioners agreed to submit their complaints in writing to town staff who will try to arrange for a special meeting on the subject.

Deferred agenda items

The board’s previous regular meeting on August 9 did not adjourn until almost 2 a.m. (meetings begin at 7 p.m.), an eventuality the commissioners hoped to avoid on Monday.

“At about 10 o’clock,” Mayor Jim Nass said at the meeting’s start, “I think we should just pause and see where we’re at and decide what we want to continue on with and what we might need to defer given the lateness of some of our meetings in this last while.”

At 10 o’clock, the board decided to open and immediately continue two public hearings until its next meeting: one on the Chatham Park development agreement, and a second to include several potential zoning text amendments to the town’s Unified Development Ordinance.

Reporter D. Lars Dolder can be reached at dldolder@chathamnr.com and on Twitter @dldolder.


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