WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) – The Department of Transportation held a meeting Wednesday, to talk to the public about possibly closing part of 3rd Street in Wilmington next year.
The DOT wants to close South Third for six to nine months, beginning in the fall of 2014 to replace a pipe near Greenfield Lake.
"It's just they day in day out stuff; you know nine months of construction will be a challenge,” said Bruce Bowman, a Wilmington resident.
Thursday night consultants answered questions and listened to concerns Wilmington residents had about the project. Residents were encouraged to fill out a comment sheet for the DOT to gather feedback on its plan.
"We'll go back and look at everything and do our best to incorporate everything we can that will be feasible economically,” said Amanda Glynn, DOT’s Division Program Bridge Manager.
Most residents are worried about the flow of traffic. Bruce Bowman lives a half a block away from the proposed construction site.
“I've requested a no trucks or a local traffic only kind of temporary signage at West Lake Shore Drive to try to prevent that attempted shortcut,” said Bowman.
Shortcuts of replacing the 24 foot wide culvert, under the intersection, were made in the form of repairs. The DOT says a full replacement is needed.
The state will pay for the $2.4 million dollar replacement.
“It's a huge undertaking, it is a huge expenditure and so we are finally at the point where we have the funding and we can attack this project,” said Glynn.
Residents, who were around during Hurricane Floyd, in 1999, remember the damage at the 3rd Street and South Front Street intersection and what an inconvenience it was during repairs.
“The spillway from the lake was wasted out and the road had to be closed to repair that and back then, it was a mess,” said Wilmington resident Louis Taylor.
Taylor was concerned that the roads would be a mess again this time around, but after looking at the maps the DOT had on display, she says she doesn’t think that will be the case when crews start construction.
“My fears are very much put at ease if it turns out to be the way they explained it,” said Taylor.
Others are not convinced.
"Have they satisfactorily resolved the problem? Not really with what I've seen, but I don't know really how they can,” said Bowman.
The DOT says it is planning to start construction in the fall of 2014 and wrap up by the spring of 2015. They say they chose this time frame to avoid most of hurricane season and peak moths of tourism.