By Maggie Beamguard
The N.C. Department of Transportation’s project to widen N.C. 211 through West End and Seven Lakes from two to four lanes is substantially underway.
Bulldozers and backhoes have transformed the cozy, longleaf pine-lined corridor into a substantially more open one, giving motorists a sense of the roadwork yet to come.
Scraggly roots stick out from the churned up soil where trees once towered and familiar landmarks seemed to vanish in the blink of an eye. Temporary stormwater detention structures have popped up in several places along the roadside to assist during the “grubbing” phase and construction operations.
As the project progresses, these initially startling sights have become familiar scenery to those who travel this section of road daily.
The initial stage of clearing trees and structures within the road right-of-way is nearing completion; the contract is scheduled to end in December, said DOT Division 8 Maintenance Engineer Matt Kitchen.
Utility relocations have been ongoing and are planned to be completed by March 2024. This phase of the project involves relocation of all above- and below-ground power, phone, fiber and any other telecommunication lines. Relocation of water lines will take place during the road construction phase, expected to begin in late 2024 or early 2025
“Each utility company is working independently, which also requires coordination between each utility owner when poles are being shared,” said Kitchen.
During this phase, Kitchen expects traffic interruption to be minimal. However, there may be temporary lane closures during non-peak travel times to allow for lines and cables to be strung across the roadway.
According to Kitchen, the project is progressing as expected. The construction phase of the project is still on schedule to be open for bid, in the fall of 2024. ”We appreciate the public’s patience through the process,” said Kitchen.
Contact Maggie Beamguard at firstname.lastname@example.org.