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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — In Wilmington we enjoy our historical artifacts, from Historic Downtown to the Battleship North Carolina. But recently ninety-year-old Kenan Memorial Fountain has become the center of public debate.

After seven accidents since 2001, some people in City Hall are questioning the long-term future of the fountain at 5th and Market Streets that has been around for nine decades.

Transportation Planning Manager Mike Kozlosky says that, “staff has been asked to identify options to help improve the visibility of the fountain at 5th and Market”. After City Councilman Neil Anderson asked the city to look into ways to protect the fountain, Kozlosky came up with six options ranging from installing signage to raising pavement and improving the lighting. An extreme option would be to relocate the fountain to another part of the city.

Kozlosky also says, “our staff doesn’t know how viable or how palatable the relocation of the fountain may be. It would be very difficult to relocate the fountain, however we are developing options and that is one that could be considered by council”

At the end of the day, the biggest issue the city is faced with is balancing safety with cost. According to Kozlosky, “there’s no funding identified in the city’s capital improvement program to make modifications at this location. Staff is developing a recommendation and once that recommendation has been developed we would also have to identify where any funds may come from to make the improvements at this intersection.”


Comment on this Story

  • Guesttoo

    I think the city may be accidently on to something here! Install some form of traffic “maze” that any normal, sober driver can negotiate and man it from midnight to 4am. As the drunks try to leave wilmington, it should be easy pickin’s. Install the maze on the downtown side of the fountain and it will be protected!

    If people think that it’s just too difficult to drive around an icon that has been in the same place since well before most of us were driving, they should choose an alternate route. There are a few of them between Wooster and MLK

  • Wilmington Observer

    Do not move the fountain for it has not caused any problems. Drunk drivers have caused the problems. I would suggest making the intersection a roundabout with rumble strips in the roadway prior to the intersection. The tactile vibrations caused by rumble strips would garner the attention of unsuspecting, sleepy, distracted and intoxicated drivers approaching the historic landmark and slow them down through the intersection. Additional sinage would be a, financial, waste. If a driver rruns into the fountain because they did not see it, I doubt they are going to pay attention to, yet, another sign.

    Wilmington Observer

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