The N.C. Department of Transportation will hold an open house public meeting on April 20 about a proposal to revamp an intersection along U.S. 158 in Lower Currituck County that has been the site of numerous serious crashes for decades.
The project estimated to cost $5.5 million would create a “reduced conflict intersection” at Caratoke Highway and Edgewater Drive in Harbinger that would improve traffic safety, according to the highway department.
According to a NCDOT webpage dedicated to the project, Environmental documents would be completed this August, with right-of-way purchases beginning this fall, and construction starting in the fall of 2024.
Cost estimates include $800,000 for utility relocation, $2.3 million to acquire the necessary right-of-ways and $2.4 million for actual construction.
The highway department said a crash analysis was completed last September for U.S. 158 from New Beach Road (S.R. 1105) to 1,000 feet north of Edgewater Road in Currituck County.
For the ten-year period between May 1, 2012 and April 30, 2022, a total of 58 crashes were reported on this section of U.S. 158 with 21 resulting in injuries and one crash that involved a fatality. A total of 40 people were injured in these crashes and one person was killed.
Nearly 30 percent of the crashes occurring during the study period involved vehicles making left turns, according to the analysis. Rear-end collisions and vehicles striking fixed objects were the next most common types of crashes.
The data from the analysis was collected prior to the highway department lowering the speed limit from 55 mph to 45 mph between the Wright Memorial Bridge and the area near H2OBX Water Park.
Among the design features of the new intersection, which is sometimes referred to as a “superstreet”, a “synchronized street”, or a “median U-turn”, include:
- Left turns from Edgewater Road onto U.S. 158 will be made by making a right turn followed by a u-turn
- Left turns from U.S. 158 onto Edgewater Road will be made directly
- A raised median and u-turn bulbs will be constructed to provide for these movements
The open house public meeting will be held Thursday, April 20, at Powells Point Baptist Church, 8383 Caratoke Highway, from 5 to 7 p.m. A short presentation on the project will take place at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m.
This style of meeting usually features large-format posters of the proposal available in the room for the public to view up close, and NCDOT engineers on hand to answer questions attendees may have.
Comments and questions can be submitted through May 5, 2023 by email at to us158-edgewaterrd@PublicInput.com, or by telephone at 512-580-8850, then enter code 5674.