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NCDOT proposed widening of Kerr Ave. has residents and drivers worried

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Kerr Avenue may soon be under some major construction if the DOT has its way. It is proposing to widen Kerr to four lanes, add bike lanes, sidewalks, and a raised median. The plan has a few folks who live on or frequent the busy road concerned about the consequences.

James Gatz drives down Kerr all the time. He says the road does get congested, but says it's not worth the major construction project the DOT is proposing.

“It's kind of like a little cold you deal with,” said Gatz. “Instead of getting the flu, you just deal with a little cold and I say we just deal with a little cold.”

The North Carolina Department of Transportation is suggesting widening Kerr to four lanes, spanning 1.7 miles from Randall Parkway to Martin Luther King Junior Parkway. However several homes and businesses would be affected, some even required to relocate.

“I mean, we lost Whitey's, that's where Michael Jordan used to work when he was a little kid,” said Gatz. “I just don't want to be losing all of this stuff just because we want to make a road bigger.”

Elizabeth Wren lives off of Kerr and says her home is far enough away from the road that she won't have to move, but thinks the project will do more harm than good.

“It's already loud enough and the pollution is already pretty bad,” said Wren. “Adding more traffic and people coming in from the airport, it's just going to make it even worse.”

Wren says the DOT told her most of her front yard would be would used to widen the lanes, which she feels could be a safety issue.

“We might have to put up a fence or make the expense to make it safer for our baby and ourselves,” said Wren.

The NCDOT will be holding a public meeting on Monday, August 15th from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the cafeteria of the Rachel Freeman School of Engineering, located at 2601 Princess Place Dr. in Wilmington. NCDOT representatives will be available to answer questions and receive comments about the proposed project.

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