March 14, 2017

MEMO TO:           Mayor Barber and Board of Commissioners

FROM:                  Frank A. Rush, Jr., Town Manager

SUBJECT:           Resolution Authorizing State Funding Request for NC 58 / Bogue Inlet Drive Intersection Improvements and New NC 58 Crosswalks (Summary & Suggested Motions)

The Board of Commissioners is scheduled to consider the attached resolution authorizing a request for $425,000 from the State for two beneficial projects along NC 58.  The resolution authorizes a $350,000 request for the construction of intersection improvements at the NC 58 / Bogue Inlet Drive intersection and a $75,000 request for the installation of new crosswalks at 5 locations along NC 58.

As you know, the Town previously requested the inclusion of intersection improvements at all 4 signalized intersections along NC 58 in the new Statewide Transportation Improvement Program prepared by NCDOT.  Unfortunately, these intersection improvements were not included in the plan due to other larger, more expensive projects in our region.  As a result of recent discussions with John Rouse, NCDOT Division 2 Engineer, and the Board of Commissioners at the annual budget planning workshop in January, it was suggested that the Town request State funding through the NC General Assembly for one of the four intersections, and also for desired new crosswalks.  Town officials met recently with NC Representative Pat McElraft, who indicated her willingness to pursue the necessary funds for the projects in the attached resolution.  If the Board approves the attached resolution, I also anticipate a complementary funding request to the NC Board of Transportation.

The NC 58 / Bogue Inlet Drive intersection improvements would consist of the installation of a mini-roundabout with raised, planted medians and curb & gutter improvements for 875 feet on the north side of NC 58 (from the Eagles store to the Emerald Club) and 700 feet along the south side of NC 58 (from the Dairy Queen / Fran’s building to the Wings store).  If funding is awarded, the existing traffic signal would be removed and a new mini-roundabout would be installed at this intersection, completely within the 100 ft. public right of way.  The existing, old and uneven curb and gutter in this area would be removed and replaced with new curb and gutter, and sidewalk adjustments as needed.  The result would be a brand new streetscape in the “downtown” area of Emerald Isle.  I have attached a copy of the summary sheet for this project for the Board’s review.

The new crosswalks would involve the installation of pavement markings and “rectangular rapid flash beacons” (RRFBs) at 5 locations:  near Water’s Edge Mobile Home Park, at Cedar Tree Lane, at Lee Avenue, at the Town Government Complex, and at Islander Drive.  The Town has received several requests for crosswalks at these locations in recent years.  The new crosswalks would be outfitted with RRFBs that include a push-button signal activated by the pedestrian and that emit a flashing light to alert drivers of the pedestrian crossing.  I have attached pictures of RRFBs for the Board’s information, along with an information sheet prepared by NCDOT.  The cost of each new crosswalk and RRFB is approximately $15,000, thus the amount requested is $75,000. (Photo 1, Photo 2)

If the Board approves the attached resolution, I will submit this funding request to Representative Pat McElraft and Senator Norman Sanderson in the coming weeks.  I will also forward a complementary funding request to NC Board of Transportation members Hugh Overholt and Gus Tulloss. 

I look forward to discussing this request with the Board at the March 14 meeting.