Roundabout public meeting rescheduled

By: Chrysta Carroll - Bladen Journal

DUBLIN — A public meeting to talk about the proposed roundabout at a Bladen County intersection has been rescheduled.

The open house, originally slated for Thursday, Feb. 1, has been moved to Tuesday, Feb. 13. It will take place at Bladen Community College from 5 to 7 p.m.

“The meeting is designed for the department to get input from the public and to educate the public on the way a roundabout functions,” said Sean Matuszewski, project engineer with the North Carolina Department of Public Transportation.

The N.C. Department of Transportation is proposing to build a roundabout at the intersection of N.C. 410 and N.C. 41. In preparation for the change, last year, NCDOT altered the previous two-way stop to make it a four-way stop. The conversion to a roundabout is scheduled for Summer 2019, according to Matuszewski.

The proposal has received mixed reviews, with detractors stating the inexperienced drivers at the nearby Bladen Community College and West Bladen High School will be ill-equipped to handle the confusion of a roundabout. Driver Education instructors have previously stated they would begin emphasizing roundabout information in the courses. Using DOT statistics, supporters claim roundabouts, though they may initially result in a slight uptick in accidents, eventually lower automobile crashes by forcing drivers who may impetuously run a stop sign to slow down, while eliminating the stop-and-go flow of an four-way stop. NCDOT literature states t-bone, head-on, and left-turn collisions — the most serious types — are reduced by all vehicles travelling in the same direction.

NCDOT engineers cite high number of fatalities at the intersection as a cause for the change.

Persons interested in the project may learn more at the open house, where DOT representatives will be on hand to answer questions and receive comments. Input may be submitted until Feb. 27 by contacting Sean Matuszewski by phone at 910-364-0603, by email at spmatuszewski@ncdot.gov, or by mail at NCDOT Division 6 Office, PO Box 1150, Fayetteville, NC 28302.

Chrysta Carroll can be reached by calling 910-8624163 or emailing ccarroll@bladenjournal.com.

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Chrysta Carroll

Bladen Journal