NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A new traffic pattern is causing backups on I-140 during rush hour, but a change is coming.
When drivers exit I-140 onto Highway 421 in New Hanover County, they must stop at a stop sign. Previously, they merged onto 421 without stopping.
Andrew Barksdale, with the North Carolina Department of Transportation, says when they opened a new leg of the 1-140 bypass in December, they had to install a stoplight on 421.
Barksdale said that made the merge lane dangerous for drivers, who were accelerating to merge and then braking for a red light.
That’s why barrels now block the merge lane and drivers are forced to stop at a stop sign to turn right or left onto 421.
Drivers say during rush hour, that causes the exit lane on I-140 to back up.
Barksdale says the DOT completed a traffic signal study. Within the next couple of months, crews will install a stoplight for drivers exiting I-140, to avoid those backups at the stop sign.
The signal work is already funded.