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The busy intersection at Carolina Pines and U.S. 70 will soon see a big change

By Jamie Hicks
Published On: Feb 04 2013 07:12:31 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 04 2013 07:17:23 PM CST

The busy intersection at Carolina Pines and U.S. 70 will soon see a big change.

Since 2007, officers have investigated 23 crashes involving 43 cars at the intersection.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation recently approved a new design for this intersection estimated to cost $965, 000. The new layout will prevent Carolina Pines Boulevard drivers from crossing U.S. 70 west, into the median to make a left turn towards Havelock.

Instead drivers coming out of Carolina Pines will turn right on a service road, before you get to the main road. An acceleration lane will be built for traffic turning left from the service road onto eastbound U.S. 70.

Stephanie Duncan, the Executive Director of Havelock Chamber of Commerce said, this new design will make it harder for people commuting to Cherry Point.

"Do it right the first time, put a stop light. I understand it might stop the traffic that's going to the beach or just people in their daily commute, but it would still allow those people to be safe," said Duncan.

Marine Adara Story believes this change would be a safer option for drivers needing to go east.

“I don't know where it would take away too much traveling time. If you’re traveling time difference makes you late by just going down to the light here and turning around then you've already left too late anyway," said Story.

The Department of Transportation recently did a survey on the intersection that showed the area to be a high crash location, with an estimated $142,150 in property damages.

Havelock resident Valerie Vanderheyden isn’t happy about the change and believes it will cause major frustration.

“I mean you're worried about the accidents, then just wait and see what's going to happen when you have us trying to use an access road, make us go all kinds of ways around rather than just simply turn left," said Vanderheyden.

The Department of Transportation hopes to begin construction in June and have the new design completed by August of this year.